Gendered Experiences of Social Harm in Asylum: Exploring State Responses to Persecuted Women in Britain, Denmark and Sweden

Project Details


Research undertaken by the Principal Investigator has established that limitations in welfare and psychosocial support can have long term social and emotional implications for women survivors of conflict and persecution, as well as their families, dependents and communities more broadly. Recent upsurges in claims for asylum in Europe, and the increasing need for sustained action from Northern European states, thus places the wellbeing of refugee women as a central concern in this region. This study examines social conditions and support for women seeking asylum in three varying case study politico-economies, namely liberal/neoliberal (Britain), liberal (Denmark) and social democratic (Sweden). It aims to investigate state and organisational responses in these three Northern European states to a) understand socially harmful policy and practice in asylum systems from a gendered perspective and b) develop strategies and recommendations so that such conditions can be mitigated, support improved upon and knowledge shared. Drawing together an intersectional feminist perspective with a social harm framework, this project will address gaps in recognising the micro-level impacts of structural political decisions affecting women seeking asylum. Building on her extensive experience of researching asylum, and utilising connections with governmental and non-governmental organisations in this field, the PI is the ideal candidate to develop research evidence to shape and inform policy and recommendations for best practice in responding to, and supporting, women seeking asylum.

Layman's description

This research thus aims to:
1. Address the current shortfalls and gaps in knowledge by expanding empirically generated data pertaining to the micro-level socially harmful impacts resulting from gendered asylum policy with specific reference to physical/mental harms, autonomy harms and relational harms;
2. Situate the experiences of women seeking asylum in the context of nation-specific historical trajectories, and consider ways in which three asylum systems (Britain, Denmark and Sweden) alleviate or exacerbate physical/mental, relational and autonomy harms;
3. Identify what forms of support are available to women seeking asylum, and address ways in which best practice and policy can be disaggregated;
4. Develop policy recommendations for governmental and non-governmental organisations working with women seeking asylum;
5. Create the basis for a novel, sustainable, and long term research agenda around such issues.
Effective start/end date1/10/161/11/18

Structured keywords

  • SPS Centre for the Study of Poverty and Social Justice


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