Borders and barriers: Challenges for refugee women in Spain and the United States

XX Women's Colloquium


Friday, October 3rd at 19.30:XNUMX p.m.


Borders and barriers: Challenges for refugee women in Spain and the United States / Borders and Barriers: Challenges for Refugee Women in Spain and the United States


Karen Mussalo, University of California, Hastings College of Law, “The Struggle for Gender Equality in Refugee Protection”

Patricia Bárcena, Commission for Aid to Refugees in Euskadi, CEAR Euskadi, “Refugee women for reasons of gender. invisible women”

Presentation: Margery Resnick

Moderator: Linda Gould-Levine, Montclair State University

The variety of colloquia They were born more than two decades ago as an instrument to analyze ideas and problems related to women's lives from the dual Spanish and North American perspective.

Refugee women continue to face life-threatening situations in transit periods and even at destination. It is essential to recognize and confront the problems related to human rights that characterize this reality.

The Women's Colloquium will analyze this issue from the Spanish and US perspective, highlighting the experiences of refugees from Central America and Mexico bound for the United States and from Africa to Spain. Interventions will place special emphasis on those cases of women who request asylum for reasons of gender.

The Colloquium aims to create a dialogue that addresses best practices in the protection of human rights across borders.


Karen Musalo is a professor of law, director of the Center for Gender and Refugee Studies (CGRS) and of the Human Rights Clinic at the University of California. She is also the co-senior author of “Law and Policy: An International and Comparative Approach” (4th edition) and has contributed notably to the development of asylum law jurisprudence both through her academic work and in the practice of law in cases involving have set a precedent. Karen Musalo was the lead attorney in the Kasinga case (risk of genital mutilation as a cause for asylum) that continues to be cited in asylum cases based on gender in courts of Canada, the United Kingdom or New Zealand. He represented Rody Alvarado, whose case has set a precedent in the fight for the right to asylum due to domestic violence. She also represented Mrs. LR-, an asylum seeker from Mexico, whose media victory has contributed significantly to advancing the consideration of gender as a cause for asylum. The Center for Gender and Refugee Studies (CGRS) that she directs has received financial support of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. The new project of this center is “Human rights, childhood and migration in Central and North America: causes, policies, practices and challenges.”

 Patricia barcena She is the director of the CEAR-Euskadi association, Commission for Aid to Refugees in the Basque Country. Her professional career is linked to the defense of human rights, having written different articles and participated in publications related to the right to asylum, immigration, human rights and coexistence. Likewise, she has been part of different international observation missions on the situation of human rights in Mexico, Guatemala or Colombia. She recently formed part of the human rights observation mission in Melilla (July 2014) that is part of the project The Endless Path: Traces of Women on the Southern Border. The tasks at the head of CEAR-Euskadi are made compatible with the exercise of the legal profession, and teaching on asylum and immigration law. And since December 2012 she has been a member of the Governing Board of the Illustrious Bar Association of the Lordship of Bizkaia. Bárcena has a Law Degree from the University of Deusto, a Diploma in Criminology from the University of the Basque Country and a University Specialist in Management of Non-Governmental Entities. lucrative.

Organizing committee

Linda Gould-Levine, Montclair State University

Margery Resnick, MIT