Facing serious poverty and high rates of unemployment, a dozen women from El Paso have started a hunger strike in front of the White House to demand immediate action to resolve the crisis along the United States-Mexico border.
The women, part of the group La Mujer Obrera, are calling for federal decision-makers to immediately support long-term community development in the region. The communities along the 2,000-mile border are among the nation’s poorest.
At a time when billions are being spent on construction and security at the border, La Mujer Obrera is demanding that women not be left out of the equation. La Mujer Obrera argues that the jobs created in El Paso have mainly benefited men while women face unemployment rates of 10 percent or higher.
In recent years La Mujer Obrera has taken matters into its own hands and renovated four abandoned garment factory buildings for a women workers’ development program, and has created a daycare center, restaurant, and a festival marketplace in El Paso to create jobs and help women break free from the cycles of poverty and violence. But a lack of financial and political support has put its efforts in jeopardy.
The hunger strikers are demanding that economic development in the region focus less on military and law enforcement and more on pressing social needs. Join the hunger strikers in calling for an immediate emergency meeting with federal, state and local officials to resolve the crisis and bring real economic development solutions and security to the border region.
Photo credit: Scazon