EU court: Women who value equality with men may qualify as refugees

Brussels, Jun. 11, (dpa/GNA) – Female asylum-seekers who believe in equality between the the sexes may qualify as refugees if that is likely to be a “motive for persecution” in their home country, the European Union’s top court ruled on Tuesday.

The case concerns two teenage Iraqi girls whose initial applications for asylum in the Netherlands were rejected. They then applied again, arguing that they had adopted western customs during their long stay in the country. Their applications were rejected again, so they went to court.

The EU Court of Justice ruled on Tuesday that women and girls who “identify with the fundamental value of equality between women and men” may qualify for refugee status if the conditions in their home country make that a “motive for persecution.”

The court also said that “a long stay in a member state, especially when it coincides with a period during which a applicant minor has forged his or her identity,” has to be taken into account when determining whether they’re at risk of persecution for adopting western values.

The judges added that where an asylum-seeker is a minor, EU countries have to “determine concretely the best interests for that minor as part of an individual assessment.”

As the Court of Justice is the EU’s highest court, the judgement is final and cannot be appealed.GNA