Angélica Gómez is part of Fondo Semillas, a nonprofit organisation focused on improving women’s lives in Mexico and a sponsor of the Gender, Youth, and Children on the Move conference in Tijuana. Her reflection is translated from Spanish.
The issue of migration has been something constant within the work of Fondo Semillas’ partners, but it had always been seen as a core issue that only partners in the north and south of Mexico faced.
Three years ago, and in large part encouraged by the support of the NoVo Foundation, we began to collaborate with organisations that are taking action specifically on behalf of migrant people’s rights, but above all with women and with an intergenerational perspective.
Throughout these three years, we expanded our support to organisations from various regions of Mexico (not only border areas) that already have experience working for the rights of women in transit, destination, return, and refuge. Therefore, through this conference, we could listen to the experiences of organisations in Chiapas that accompany women that have fled various types of violence in their Central American countries and help them find refuge. We listened to organisations in Mexico City that organize women’s circles in temporary shelters that they have opened to migrants in transit and where they discuss sexual and reproductive health, birth control, right to abortion, and menstruation without stigmatization, among other topics. We met organisations in Tijuana that embrace Central American migrants as well as Haitians and people from other Caribbean countries that have been left stranded on the northern border, hoping to one day be in the United States. They direct women that need prenatal care and maternal-child health care with midwives who are allies, and likewise help migrant women and girls gain access to work or study, based on their needs.
My greatest happiness as a team member with Fondo Semillas during this conference was to observe that feminist principles, each time with more and more determination, penetrating the political principles within the work these organisations are doing hand in hand with migrants, and especially women. So many of our foundation’s grantees, along with the other organisations, that we could hear and with whom we could share within this conference, are adopting a gender perspective as a core principle. We celebrate this contribution given that in this region and context, it is urgent and imperative to name and recognize the violence and specific situations that migrant women are living.
Angélica Gómez is part of Fondo Semillas based in Mexico City.