Denmark welcomes first two Afghan women refugees on gender grounds

File – An Afghan woman (file image). – Oliver Weiken/dpa

An Afghan mother and her daughter have become the first to be granted asylum in Denmark based solely on their gender, a landmark decision made by the Danish Refugee Committee (DRC) due to the difficult situation facing women in the country following the arrival of the Taliban in August 2021.

The two are the first Afghan women to benefit from this new measure approved earlier this week. The two had arrived in Denmark in 2018 from Iran, where she had resided since she was a child and where she married due to her family’s economic problems.

«The applicant has lived in Iran since she was a child (…) she has not been a member of political or religious associations or organizations and has not been politically active (…) she has referred to the fact that she fears that her spouse or her family will kill her if she returns to Afghanistan. In this regard, she has stated that she married in Iran because her family was poor,» the DRC reports.

The woman fears that she could be killed for having a relationship with another man if she returns to Afghanistan, where her spouse spends long periods of time, as adultery is punishable by stoning in that country.

«The applicant has stated that she has had a child out of wedlock in Denmark, that she has not been divorced, and that she risks inhumanly severe punishment for adultery if she returns to Afghanistan,» the committee recounted.

The Danish Refugee Committee is a state institution under the Ministry of Immigration and Integration. It ultimately decides on the asylum status and residence permits of refugees and immigrants.