Asylum and Femicide: An Analysis of Gendered Concepts of Humanity and its Role in the Northern Triangle in Central America
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This study will examine how women are marginalized within gendered concepts of humanity through the limitations of femicide as an unrecognized basis for the credible fear of persecution under human rights regimes in the United States. In the United States, an applicant must have a credible fear of persecution and be a member of a particular social group. To further explore the implications of the patriarchal structure of human rights, I examine three legal asylum cases from Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala respectively. This thesis will include historical and sociological examinations of social unrest in the Northern Triangle that forces migrant women to leave their home country for asylum in the United States, exploration of a male-centric view of human rights, and the way that the permissions of sexual violence being in international institutions affects private life in the Northern Triangle. The following questions will guide the study: How does a patriarchal foundation of human rights law perpetuate gender injustices in the Northern Triangle? Moreover, how does the absence of femicide as a right-based asylum claim in the Northern Triangle impact how we might think of women as a social group in asylum law? When asylum courts deny claims of women from the Northern Triangle they do so because they do not belong to a particular enough social group that is required for asylum claims, or they are seen as not having a credible fear of persecution. I aim to argue that a patriarchal structure underwrites international human rights law and discredits the severity of sexual violence in the Northern Triangle by reducing inadmissible femicide as a credible fear of persecution. Moreover, I aim to examine how the absence of femicide and “woman” as a social group in asylum law reinforces the gendered concepts of humanity within the humanitarian discourse that omits the narratives of women who are seeking refuge from the Northern Triangle.
Glasscock Summer Scholar
Gomez, Nydia Tatianna (2021). Asylum and Femicide: An Analysis of Gendered Concepts of Humanity and its Role in the Northern Triangle in Central America. Undergraduate Research Scholars Program. Available electronically from