• Marta Arjona Ariza
This thesis is focused on the situation of women within the context of the Danish Asylum System, specifically in the Danish asylum centres, and their experiences of vulnerability and oppression that hinder their well-being within said system. In order to investigate these, I turned to look into understandings of gender equality and gender sensitivity within the Danish Asylum System due to the fact that Denmark considers the notion of gender equality as a part of Danish values. In my findings, I consider those experiences of vulnerability to be outcomes of the lack of explicit understandings of gender equality and lack of implementations of gender-sensitive guidelines by the relevant actors within the asylum system: Ministry of Immigration and Integration, Immigration Services and Danish Red Cross. The thesis is based on semi- structured interviews, audio recordings and other relevant documents that together form a corpus of data including experiences and opinions from asylum-seeking and refugee women, NGO representatives and frontline workers from the Red Cross. Through the use of methodology related to content analysis, I found relevant themes that affect women in their daily lives in the asylum centres. These themes respond to discrimination, harassment, spatiality and the power and praxis of street-level bureaucrats. By using an intersectional approach I was able to unveil the different axes of oppression and unbalanced power relations, revealed as domains of power, that lie beneath the experiences of women. Moreover, I looked into gender relations to understand how being in the asylum centre has challenged and changed gender dynamics and constructions of masculinity and femininity, and how these have exposed women to sexual harassment. The role of street-level bureaucrats was also taken into consideration in terms of the power they have regarding decision making, but also the misuse or abuse of that power placing asylum-seeking women in vulnerable situations. The findings of this thesis revealed that women feel unsafe, discriminated against, harassed, victimised and abused in the asylum centres, and that there is an active need for gender-specific spaces for women.
Publication date31 May 2021
Number of pages65
ID: 413355258