In recent years, thousands of refugees have attempted the dangerous crossing across the Mediterranean. Millions of Syrians have been forced to flee their country because of incessant civil war. As a historically disadvantaged population, what other obstacles do women in these situations face when seeking refuge abroad? While international laws protect the rights of women and asylum seekers, scholars have not discussed what effect ratifying these treaties has on women seeking asylum. This study aims to bridge the gaps in the research by examining the extent to which women’s rights, as written in international laws, are incorporated into domestic legislation and hence impact women seeking asylum. The following analysis also examines the potential impact of asylum decision makers’ implementation of these rights. These variables are examined through a qualitative comparative case study of Belgium and the Netherlands. My research results show that neither of these predicted variables impact the dependent variable (the number of women granted asylum) in the anticipated manner. Further research must be conducted to understand what variables do influence how many women are granted asylum.


Leiby, Michele


Political Science


Comparative Politics | Human Rights Law | Immigration Law | International Law | Judges | Law and Gender


asylum, asylum seekers, women, international law

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



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