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Part V The Scope of Refugee Protection, Ch.40 Women in Refugee Jurisprudence

Catherine Dauvergne

From: The Oxford Handbook of International Refugee Law

Edited By: Cathryn Costello, Michelle Foster, Jane McAdam

From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2023. All Rights Reserved.date: 16 July 2024

Gender — Asylum — Non-refoulement — Persecution

This chapter investigates the state of refugee law jurisprudence about women. It begins by surveying recent scholarship in this area, highlighting two points: first, that the production of scholarship about women as refugee claimants has slowed; and secondly, that the issues being researched and written about are generally the same as those on offer since the 1990s. Stagnated progress is not to say that decisions about women have not become central to refugee law jurisprudence. Women have indeed moved from the margins to the centre of refugee law. The chapter then analyses elements of the refugee definition in turn, considering how each applies to women. These elements include well-founded fear, being persecuted, reasons for being persecuted, nexus, and exclusion. This structure is a useful rubric for summarizing trends, and isideal for demonstrating that because every element of the refugee definition must be satisfied in order for a claim to be successful, there is a significant tendency for problems to slip from one definitional element to another as the jurisprudence advances. In other words, once it becomes settled law that women can fit in the category of membership in a particular social group, a series of contestations then emerge in another area such as nexus or State protection. This tendency for slippage has driven forward much jurisprudential growth.

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