- Be able to describe the differences between refugees and asylum seekers and the steps these individuals take before settling in the United States.
- Understand the degree to which gender-based violence affects women refugees and asylees.
- Learn more about how the interviews required of both refugees and asylees inherently require re-experiencing of traumatic events.
- Identify how the United Nations Security Council has addressed the issue of gender-based violence.
This show explores the unique challenges that refugees and asylum seekers face. We focus on the experiences of women who have re-settled in Maine as a case study of the resettlement process throughout the U.S. We explain the technical aspects of being a refugee or asylee and the difficult process that these individuals have to go through in order to be granted a new home. Expert accounts frame two deeply personal and inspiring stories of persecution, trauma, courage, resilience, and hope.
- [1:00] Lawyer Phil Mantis on the differences between refugees and asylum seekers in terms of getting to the U.S and the legal process once here.
- [9:25] Taysier Elshaikh on the experience of coming to the U.S. as a refugee from Sudan.
- [25:15] Alice Barakagwira on the experience of seeking asylum.
- [44:02] Professor Cynthia Enloe on the impact of militarization on women’s lives, and how sexual violence can be a repressive political tool and a weapon of war.
Full Interviews Featured in this Episode
Navigating the Asylum Process
Speaking Up for Asylum
Women in Wartime
- Can you imagine a more ideal environment or procedure for individuals to share their stories of persecution instead of a standardized immigration interview?
- What was your response to Alice’s statement that every woman she’s worked with has experienced sexual violence?
- There is often concern about how well refugees are vetted prior to coming to the United States. How did this podcast affect your understanding of this process?
- In this show we focused primarily on the experiences of women refugees and asylees. What do you think might be some unique challenges that men refugees and asylees face?
Links to additional resources:
Centers for Disease Control: Refugee Health
CDC information on immigrant and refugee health
Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom
Migration Policy Institute
Statistics about immigrants and immigration in the United States
United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 (2000)
Read the full text of Resolution 1325 here on women, peace, and security
UN Refugee Agency Q&A
UN Refugee Agency common questions and answers about refugees
World Health Organization: Migrant Health
WHO information on refugee and migrant health
“Asylum or Refugee Status: Who Is Eligible?” Ilona Bray
From NOLO’s DIY legal guides