Norway rules out asylum based on gender for Afghan women

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Norway rules out asylum based on gender for Afghan women
Norway Justice Minister Emilie Enger Mehl (pictured above) has said that asylum wouldn't be granted to Afghan women on the basis of their gender. (Photo by François WALSCHAERTS / AFP)

Norway will not follow in the footsteps of neighbours Denmark and grant asylum to Afghan women based on their gender, Minister of Justice Emilie Enger Mehl has said.


Afghanistan is currently the world’s most oppressive country for women, according to the UN. Women’s rights in the country have been heavily restricted since the Taliban took control in 2021.

However, Emilie Enger Mehl has confirmed to the Norwegian Christian publication Vårt Land that the government will not grant Afghan women asylum based on gender.


Earlier this year, the EU’s asylum agency said that women in Afghanistan should trigger the right to asylum in EU countries. Norway itself is not a member of the EU but is tied to the European bloc via its membership of the EEA.

Both Sweden and Denmark, who are EU members, grant asylum to Afghan women based on gender. However, Mehl said that Norway’s asylum policy means all applications must be processed individually.

“This is a long-standing practice and an important prerequisite for trust in the asylum institute and fair treatment of asylum seekers,” she explained.

Last year, the Norwegian government implemented temporary collective protection for Ukrainian nationals fleeing the war in their own country. This means that the UDI doesn’t process applications from Ukrainians fleeing the war individually.

According to Vårt Land, Norway’s immigration agency, the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration (UDI) was processing asylum applications from around 260 Afghan women.


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