Gender-Based Persecution in Asylum Law and Policy in the United States
A gender revolution has transformed the institution of asylum in the United States. The introduction of gender-based persecution laws and policies in the past decade ushered in a new era of politics in asylum decisions. Facilitated by recent laws and policies, immigrant women may gain asylum and legal entry into the U.S. by claiming they are persecuted based on factors such as female circumcision, honor killings, domestic violence, coercive family planning, forced marriage, or repressive social norms. Immigrant advocates have championed these laws and policies as reflecting the canonical feminist declaration that womens rights are human rights. The legal recognition that certain human rights abuses are gendered because they overwhelmingly happen to women has emerged as the benchmark for gendered equality in asylum adjudication. However, legal recognition of gender-related persecution is only half the story. A study of the implementation of gender-based persecution laws and policies makes visible certain assumptions about femininity, masculinity, sexuality, race, class, and nation in which asylum seekers, immigration attorneys, service providers, immigration judges, and asylum officers engage when making, preparing, and adjudicating asylum claims. In this dissertation, I offer empirical evidence of how gender structures the legal institution of asylum in the United States.
Advisor:Nicole Constable; Cecilia Green; John Markoff; Kathleen Blee
School:University of Pittsburgh
School Location:USA - Pennsylvania
Source Type:Master's Thesis
Date of Publication:01/30/2007