National Immigrant Justice Center
208 S. LaSalle St., Suite 1818, Chicago, IL 60604
Gender Justice Initiative
Immigrant women play vital roles in our communities and families. Many women arriving in the United States carry the heavy burden of trauma from structural inequities in their homelands and their difficult journeys seeking new homes. The U.S. immigration system presents further challenges that can prevent immigrant women from obtaining the legal status they need to live freely and safely. Without work authorization and lawful status, women find themselves facing enormous barriers – employment without protections, doors closed to social services, and a constant threat of deportation and separation from family.
The Gender Justice Initiative employs a comprehensive approach to reverse the exclusion of immigrant women from the U.S. justice system by providing legal representation, educating immigrant and legal communities, and advocating for systemic reform.
The Gender Justice Initiative:
- Provides legal consultations and representation to immigrant survivors of violence, helping them obtain employment authorization and permanent legal status so they can live safely and independently in the United States.
- Offers targeted training to enhance the legal community’s understanding of gender justice and conducts legal presentations in jails and detention centers throughout the Midwest to help women understand their rights.
- Contributes to efforts in the federal courts that seek to establish severe gender-motivated violence as grounds to justify the recognition of women from those countries as members of a particular social group eligible for asylum protection.
Photo credit: paggre/Creative Commons
Last year NIJC represented 760 women seeking protection from gender-based violence, including persecution related to forced marriage, female genital mutilation, or domestic violence.