Gender and Violence in the Experiences of Central American Women: Migration As a Coping Strategy?
My paper is based on a field work- study in two Mexican border towns, Tijuana in the North and Tapachula on the Mexican South. It focuses on the experiences of women during transit migration through Mexico and on the strategies Central American women adopt in order to realize their migration projects. It takes into account how the different forms of violence in the origin, transit and destiny converge by reconstructing women’s migration trajectories from a biographical perspective. This reconstruction challenges classical categories of migration studies and shows how social, structural and gendered violence affect women’s migration projects and migrant’s social networks. In reference to the model of analysis of Sarah Mahler and Patricia Pessar´s (2003) “gendered geographies of power” of the migration process, I want to show that migration itself is an answer to recurrent experiences of violence and an important aspect of women’s agency in this specific context.