chapter  14
Immigration and gender-based violence in the West
WithMary Nyangweso, Jacob K. Olupona
Pages 18

Most migrants seek a better life in Western countries because it is often perceived that these countries are associated with modern progress and values that encourage autonomy and personal growth. The historical movement of civil and human rights is an attraction for most immigrants who migrate to these countries. As a result of being recognized as pioneers of human rights efforts, Western countries, especially the United States, are perceived as endowed with the responsibility of protecting the rights of women and immigrants as the rights of all human beings. Based on this understanding, the United Nations declared that governments should extend basic human rights to all regardless of legal status. Gender and immigration rights are central to this chapter because gender is a significant factor in international immigration. Studies indicate that women constitute about half of the world’s migrants (UNDP, 2009; UN DESA 2017). This chapter highlights how gender-based violence intersects with immigration and religion. Drawing examples from experiences of intimate partner violence (IPV) and female genital cutting, the chapter highlights challenges that some immigrant women live with as they seek to negotiate legitimate cultural and religious values and practices with their claims to human rights in their new world. In highlighting the role of religion in an immigrant’s life, the chapter argues for the significance of incorporating faith-based organization in addressing gender-based violence in immigrant communities.