Denmark’s decision on Syrian refugees is impacting women and older people

“People told me that I should marry a Danish citizen or permanent resident so that I can stay here. How is it possible that unmarried women are facing this choice in a country that prides itself on gender equality? I am working hard for my dreams, learning Danish and getting good grades. I thought Denmark would be a place where women’s rights are protected, where women could live freely without oppression. I am very disappointed and worried.”

Hiba al-Khalil, a Syrian refugee in Denmark who was called for a second interview by the immigration service

“Syria is not safe and even though there isn’t bombing in Damascus, there is a lot of hostage-taking,” she said. “Some girls are having to quit their education as their parents are too worried that they’ll be arrested or taken hostage by armed criminal groups or the regime. I won’t go back there — I’d rather go to another country to try to seek asylum there.”

Eilaf Alakkad is a Syrian refugee in Denmark, who recently had her residency status revoked

“Syrian men are generally exempt from the new policy because the authorities recognise they are at risk of being drafted into the Syrian military or punished for evading conscription. The majority of affected people appear to be women and older people, many of whom face being separated from their children.” The Guardian

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