Persecution experienced by women often differs from that experienced
by men, but the asylum system still tends to regard it through the
lens of male experiences. Gender-related persecution may give rise
to claims for international protection. However, states do not always
take it into proper account. To this must be added inappropriate
interview settings, the use of irrelevant country of origin information
and lack of training of officials. Although member states are stepping
up their work in order to streamline a gender understanding into public
decision making, policy and operations, this effort is not always
reflected in the asylum procedure.
Certain forms of harm (gender-based forms of harm or violence)
are more frequently or only used against women or affect women in
a manner that is different from men. These include, inter alia, sexual violence, societal
and legal discrimination, forced prostitution, trafficking of human
beings, refusal of access to contraception, bride burning, forced
marriage, forced sterilisation, forced abortion and (forced) female
genital mutilation and enforced nakedness/sexual humiliation.
A woman may be persecuted because of her gender (gender-related
persecution), for example where she refuses or fails to comply with
social, religious or cultural behaviour expected from a woman (floggings
for refusing to use a veil, female genital mutilation, honour killings
of adulterous women, etc.).
The Parliamentary Assembly is invited to call upon member
states to ensure that gender-based violence and gender-related persecution
is appropriately taken into account in any asylum determination
process. They are also called upon to set up their asylum system
in such a way as to ensure gender sensitivity. The Assembly also
calls on the Committee of Ministers to, inter
alia, instruct the appropriate inter-governmental body
in the Council of Europe to carry out a study on the approach of
member states to gender-related claims in the asylum process and
provide them with guidelines.