Border women to launch hunger strike outside White House
The El Paso women are calling on federal policymakers to establish investment and strategies to support community-led development of the border area, which they say is plagued by violence, poverty and unemployment.
Opening their protest, the women will sign a letter to President Obama urging him to review “shortsighted” border security initiatives. They are urging the President to address the fact that their communities have been dismissed as “unfortunate but necessary casualties” of international trade and immigration policies and the drugs war.
They point to the fact that the US government has authorised billions of dollar for jobs in the construction industry, benefiting mainly men. They also say that poverty levels in the region, which exceed 30 per cent of the local population, and unemployment rates are higher among female workers.
The women are members of La Mujer Obrera, a non-profit organisation with 29 years’ experience in grassroots advocacy of Mexican migrant workers and development work in the community. In their letter to Obama, the women warn that La Mujer Obrera’s future faces “profound risk” due to a lack of investment in their region.
“Women’s conditions on the border are urgent, and we are demanding justice and equity now,” the letter reads. “It’s not just about La Mujer Obrera in El Paso, Texas. This is a struggle by women on the border, and our right to a better future for our community.”
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