PhD Graduate Salina Abji on State Responsibility and Violence Against Women

January 23, 2019 by Kathy Tang

PhD Graduate Salina Abji published an article in Social Politics: International Studies in Gender, State & Society that analyzes the relationship between state power and women's rights. She explores the political advocacy within the "Shelter | Sanctuary | Status" Campaign formed by feminist and migrant rights groups in protest of the searching of women's shelters for migrants by the Canadian Border Services Agency.

Salina Abji obtained her PhD in Sociology from the University of Toronto in 2016. She is currently a SSHRC postdoctoral fellow at Carleton University. Her research interests include social activism and the politics of race, gender and immigration status.

We have posted the citation and abstract for her article below. The full article is available via Project Muse.

Abji, Salina. 2016. “‘Because Deportation is Violence Against Women’: on the Politics of State Responsibility and Women’s Human Rights.” Social Politics: International Studies in Gender, State & Society, 23(4):483-507.

In 2011, Canadian authorities issued a directive allowing border guards to enter women’s shelters to deport “unauthorized” migrants, despite significant protests from civil society groups. This research analyzes the politics of state responsibility that are implicated in such contestations over women’s human rights. I show two variations in how advocates re-framed responsibility to address existing ambiguities in the law. Statist appeals reinforced the centrality of the state as a protector of women, including women without legal status. Postnational appeals, by contrast, challenged the very legitimacy of the state as a perpetrator of gendered violence through border enforcement and exclusionary citizenship.

Read the full article here.