"Kvinders Plads er Overalt!" - Et Studie af Narrativer om Grӕnser og Køn

Studenteropgave: Kandidatspeciale og HD afgangsprojekt

  • Marie Witt Gad Johansen
  • Ida Kajsa Cecilia Gunge
  • Silje Garnaas Kristiansen
4. semester, Global Refugee Studies, Kandidat (Kandidatuddannelse)
In 2015/2016 Europe experienced a great influx of refugees. As a response to the high
number of refugees, the countries of the EU has emphasised a strengthening of their
borders, as well as implemented an externalisation of the European outer-borders to
control the number of refugees coming to European territory. Consequently, we argue
that a securitisation of refugees has been enforced as the EU constructs the refugees
as a threat to societal and state-security. The EU employs measures to execute state
sovereignty to ensure the cultural and social homogeneity of their country.
Consequently, the restrictions on asylum legislations and strengthened border controls
makes border-crossing in the present European context challenging, difficult and
unsafe. Thousands of people are forced to undertake more dangerous routes to avoid
detention and repatriation. In the current situation, more women and children are
fleeing than ever before.
The present thesis seeks to examine how refugee women experience crossing borders
when they are forced to flee. We look into how the refugee women perceive
differentialities between borders, as well as their chosen strategies. We apply the
method of narratology, as it will help us understand how the refugee women
experience their movement to and within the borders of the EU. Furthermore,
narratology will assist us in exploring how the different situational positions of the
women affect their experience, as well as which strategies they employ on their
different routes. We thereby employ a gender-perspective, as our conducted narratives
are told by women.
The thesis builds its research on the narratives of three female refugees, each
experiencing border-crossing to and within the EU differently. We also conducted
participant observation during a conference in Hamburg called “International
Conference of Refugees and Migrants: The Struggle of Refugees – How to go on?
Stop war on Migrants! 2016”. Moreover, we outline a contextual overview of the
present border-regime in Europe, and analyse the narratives and the observations in
Hamburg in the light of such context.
We argue that the refugee women navigate through a male-centred field,
demonstrated in asylum legislation, the EU border regime and the Hamburg
Conference. The refugee women are excluded from the political sphere, excluded
from the narrative authority and are thus left navigating within a victimising role. The
victimising discourse related to refugee women is also evident in the manner in which
female migration often is framed within the field of human trafficking or through
domestic labour migration, linking migrating women to the private sphere.
Furthermore, the narratives of this study demonstrate that the interviewed women
define the EU-border system as based on security and violence, which directly affects
the manner in which they are navigating. We claim that the strategies employed by
the female refugees are gender-specific, and furthermore predominantly stems from a
feeling of being exposed to a gendered insecurity - and that the strategies employed
has the aim of enhancing their own security. We identify which measures they use to
enhance their security, and recognize means as financial capital, travelling with a
male protector, or in groups as common strategies taken to navigate the border-regime. Furthermore, we recognize visibility/invisibility as a strategic, to either make
oneself invisible for men who are considered as threats, or gendering; to make oneself
visible - by using gender to be seen as either a victim or someone in need of
Thus, we find that processes of bordering becomes processes of gendering,
demonstrating the dialogical relationship between the manner in which the
interviewed women conceptualise the EU borders and how the EU borders
simultaneously construct the women within a framework of an essentialised ‘female
refugee experience’. This dialogical field, defined by connotations on safety and
uncertainty, fundamentally affects how the interviewed women are navigating.
Udgivelsesdato30 maj 2016
Antal sider122
ID: 234416056