This issue of "Feminist Review" focuses on the experience of women asylum-seekers and refugees seeking, denied entry to, or living in exile in what has become "Fortress Europe". Whilst women probably comprise the largest group of people living in exile, the EU and national asylum systems fail to recognize women's reasons for fleeing, due to the masculine construction of the refugee and to an understanding of persecution that only recognizes public sphere politics. Feminists have long pointed to women's political struggles beyond the public sphere and to the gendered nature of much violence, poverty and dislocation. Analyses of the refugee experience have been late to recognize the specific issues facing women refugees. This issue is thus an essential contribution to the field, drawing on legal, sociological and political theory and bringing together first-person accounts with theoretical analyses to illuminate women's experience of seeking asylum and living in exile. Also included are statements from UK refugee organizations describing the current legal and organizational settings in which they work with women asylum seekers.
Edited by the FEMINIST REVIEW COLLECTIVE.