This book is about the lives of refugee women in Britain and France. Who are they? Where do they come from? What happens to them when they arrive, while they wait for a decision on their claim for asylum, and after the decision, whether positive or negative? The book shows how laws and processes designed to meet the needs of men fleeing political persecution often fail to protect women from persecution in their home countries and fail to meet their needs during and after the decision-making process. It portrays refugee women as resilient, resourceful and potentially active participants in British and French social, political and cultural life. The book exposes the obstacles that make active participation difficult.

Gill Allwood and Khursheed Wadia

Allwood 06 24/2/10 6 10:31 Page 152 Refugee women and NGOs This chapter begins from the hypothesis that refugee women, politically active in their countries of origin, will be motivated to participate in their country of destination, but that their opportunities to participate may be constrained by institutional/organisational, social and cultural barriers. It highlights refugee women’s agency, countering the perception that they are passive victims, and describes their individual motivation and resources, and their experiences of NGO participation. As

in Refugee women in Britain and France
Gill Allwood and Khursheed Wadia

Allwood 03 24/2/10 3 10:28 Page 73 Refugee women in Britain Research that focuses on the lives of refugee women in Britain is recent: one of the first studies of their specific needs and experiences was published in 1996 (Ahmed 1996). Such research is important in identifying and raising awareness of experiences of asylum which may differ from the assumed male norm. Whilst they share the difficulties all asylum seekers face in Britain, women asylum seekers experience additional problems often overlooked by policy-makers (Dumper 2002a: 20). Research on the

in Refugee women in Britain and France
Gill Allwood and Khursheed Wadia

Allwood 04 24/2/10 4 10:29 Page 96 Refugee women in France In France, as in other EU states, the spotlight on asylum issues and the country’s diverse refugee communities has increased over the past 15 years. This focus on refugee migration and asylum rights is due to several factors; for example, the expansion in numbers of those seeking asylum in France and the fact that many of them arrive from zones of conflict and disaster (Kosovo, Chechnya, Rwanda, DRC, Iraq and others) where traumatic events and acts of extreme violence impact severely on their basic

in Refugee women in Britain and France
Gill Allwood and Khursheed Wadia

Allwood 05 24/2/10 5 10:30 Page 129 Refugees, gender and citizenship in Britain and France This chapter explores the question of citizenship-building processes in relation to women asylum seekers and refugees and their civic participation not only in discrete refugee women’s community associations or organisations (RCOs) but also in (longer established) migrant women’s community associations.1 Its aim is fourfold: first, it discusses the relationship between the question of citizenship, refugee women and their associations; second, it presents an overview

in Refugee women in Britain and France
Abstract only
Gill Allwood and Khursheed Wadia

in a tiny cell and repeatedly raped and tortured whilst facing interrogation. Although freed after several days she was again to face the same ordeal when the soldiers came back to find her and her husband. Forced to flee Uganda she came to England where despite this continued persecution, her asylum case has been refused. Even a medical report stating that ‘the medical evidence gives strong support for the history of repeated Allwood 00 2 24/2/10 10:25 Page 2 Refugee women in Britain and France rapes leading to life threatening gynaecological complications

in Refugee women in Britain and France
Abstract only
Gill Allwood and Khursheed Wadia

agency rather than present them as passive victims or accompanying dependants. First, it sets out the legal/institutional framework within which women asylum seekers have their status determined. It shows how this decision is made in Britain and France and the extent to which gender is recognised as a factor influencing the kind of persecution experienced and the reasons for it. It shows that gender-neutral legal texts, processes and procedures will have a different impact on refugee women and men, and that this must be recognised and addressed explicitly if gender

in Refugee women in Britain and France
Refugee women in Britain and France
Gill Allwood and Khursheed Wadia

Allwood 02 24/2/10 2 10:27 Page 49 Migration contexts, demographic and social characteristics: refugee women in Britain and France This chapter introduces the reader to the landscape of international migration within which female refugee migrants are positioned. Its aim is twofold. First, it gives an overview of inward migration flows into Britain and France while bearing in mind both the general European context and processes of feminisation which have occurred over the last 50 years. Second, it presents, as fully as available data allows, the demographic

in Refugee women in Britain and France
International, European and national frameworks
Gill Allwood and Khursheed Wadia

access to asylum.The second aim of the chapter is to highlight the gendered impact of apparently gender-neutral policies and practices, to outline various measures which have sought to address this, and to discuss their effectiveness. In this way, it establishes one of the contexts in which the study of refugee women in Britain and France is situated. International legal framework The basis of international refugee law is the 1951 Geneva Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees (28 January 1951) and the New York Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees (31

in Refugee women in Britain and France
Zuzana Jezerska

effects of armed conflicts on women, including the problems of displaced and refugee women; • alleviating women’s poverty, including the problems of minority groups of women, such as Roma women; • utilizing the mass media for eliminating gender stereotypes and conducting gender training. Discussion on national machineries emphasized the need to strengthen their institutional capacity, and urged the governments of the countries of the region to consider the following measures towards this goal: • strengthening the mechanisms for the representation of women’s issues

in Mainstreaming gender, democratizing the state?