Women and Migration
The horrors faced by migrants fleeing poverty, war, crime and other atrocities are forcing hundreds of thousands to escape their countries, mostly Central American, to try to find a better life somewhere else; in many cases, in the United States. Death, starvation, thirst, accidents or dismemberment while riding the infamous La Bestia train, and the threat of deportation from the country of their dreams does not seem to deter those who feel it is their only hope. The situation for women is worse, for not only do they face these same dangers, but they do it with their children, hoping beyond hope to get to the other side where their children will grow up and be educated and thrive. Along the way these women face murder, rape, kidnapping, sex trafficking, extortion - but they continue to pursue their dreams.
Gretchen Kuhner is Director of the Institute for Women in Migration (IMUMI), a non-profit organization based in Mexico City that advocates for the rights of women migrants in the region through legal representation, policy advocacy and strategic communication. IMUMI works to defend the women who have come seeking asylum for themselves and their children, especially those who have been detained and deported and separated from their children they were trying to protect, or forcibly returned to unbearable situations in their home countries.
IMUMI works closely with networks in the US that focus on migrant rights and deportation defense. Gretchen, with her small group of world changers at IMUMI, work to keep families together by giving help in navigating the US family and immigration systems; helping women who have been trafficked to the US to reunite with children they were forced to leave in Mexico; ensuring access to documentation like birth certificates and public benefits like education and health services for families; preventing violence and providing protection and alternatives to detention, as well as representation to make criminal complaints and apply for immigration documents.
Gretchen Kuhner's dedication to doing whatever she can and moving forward relentlessly to help others is inspiring and relentless. Gretchen will kick off the 2020 edition of Ser Mujer’s March program for International Women’s Month. Gretchen will be speaking in the Sala Queztal in the Biblioteca on March 4 at 4 PM. Donation 100 pesos. Tickets available at the Santa Ana box office the week of the event.
La Biblioteca Publica, Rejoj 50A, Centro
San Miguel de Allende, GUA 37700