‘Since I am here, I scream’ | Amsterdam University Press Journals Online
Volume 17, Issue 3
  • ISSN: 1388-3186
  • E-ISSN: 2352-2437



The position of female rejected asylum seekers in the Netherlands reveals how European citizenship is built on gendered notions of belonging to a national body, with its annexed discourses on migrant exclusion and asylum that set the conditions for rejected asylum seekers. This paper examines the experiences of female rejected asylum seekers who rely on NGOs, municipal homeless shelters, and informal networks for their basic needs in the Netherlands; it considers how they negotiate their everyday lives, and how the state’s exclusionary policies and the workings of NGOs affect them. This paper argues that, in order to chart the complexity of their agency, it is necessary to collapse the division between ‘victimhood’ and ‘agency’ as mutually exclusive subject positions. This requires an intersectional analysis of their experiences, as multiple axes of oppression simultaneously interact in defining which subject positions are available for female rejected asylum seekers and what their material options are.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): agency; gender; intersectionality; NGO; rejected asylum seekers; undocumented migration
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