Defining a Particular Social Group Based on Gender

Elizabeth Adjin-Tettey

Abstract


lt is now accepted in refugee jurisprudence
that gender-based social groups
fall within the meaning of Particular
Social Group for purposes of according
Convention refugee protection. However,
the criteria for identifying gender-based
social groups remains to be
settled. The tendency has been to identify
the at-risk group by the common
victimization which confronts group
members. This is neither innate nor constant.
The author takes the position that
the group should simply be identified by
the gender of its members-women, although
there may be subgroups of
women united by other characteristics
such as race, nationality or religion. Not
aIl group members will automatically
be eligible for refugee protection; only
women who are genuinely at risk of persecution
will be accorded Convention
refugee status.

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