"I feel like as a woman I'm not welcome." A gender analysis of UK asylum law, policy and practice

Christel Querton

This is the first comprehensive gender analysis of the asylum system in the UK. It seeks to assess all aspects of claiming asylum in the UK from a gender perspective including decision making, the asylum procedure, and reception and detention conditions. As women have constituted one third of all main asylum applicants since 2003, failing to take into account gender issues can have a significant impacts on the consideration of women's asylum claims and the treatment of women asylum seekers. 

Based on extensive interviews with women asylum seekers and refugees from four cities in the UK, and questionnaires and interviews with legal representatives and asylum advocates, this research combines original qualitative and legal research in a detailed gender analysis of UK asylum law and policy, and tests the Government against its promise to make the asylum system gender-sensitive. 

The report looks at all UKBA policies and jurisprudence relevant to women asylum seekers and those with gender-related claims for asylum. 

Overall there was a strong sense from the women with whom Christel spoke that they felt powerless and had no choice but to endure the asylum system until their immigration status was resolved.