The Effects of Violence on the Reproductive Strategies of Migrant Women from Central America in Transit through Mexico.

Monday, 11 July 2016: 09:15
Location: Hörsaal I (Neues Institutsgebäude (NIG))
Oral Presentation
Susanne WILLERS, Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, Mexico
This paper focuses on the effects of different forms of violence on the reproductive strategies of Central American migrant women in transit to the United States. Each year there is an increasing number of women, many of them single mothers, leaving Central American countries like Honduras and El Salvador, strongly affected by social violence and economic crisis, in order to sustain their families. But, due to increasing migration control measures in Mexico and the US, and to the proliferation of organized crime, todays transit migration through Mexico has become a dangerous, expensive, time- demanding and more and more circular process. The interplay of this aspects affects the reproductive strategies of migrant women and their families in the transnational social field and the possibilities of social networks to provide social capital and solidarity to its members. Experiences of deportation and violent assault are each time more common and jeopardize women’s migration projects.

The paper is based on a field work- study in two Mexican border towns, Tijuana in the North and Tapachula on the Mexican South, spotlighting the migration processes and the experiences of violence of women from Honduras and El Salvador. By reconstructing migration and family trajectories of migrant women from a Life course perspective, it shows how migration policies, gender violence and inequalities in the places of origin, transit and destiny impact the reproductive strategies of migrant women in the transnational space of migration.