M I S S I O N  Women on the Border’s mission is to increase awareness of the impacts of U.S. and global policies and practices that strip the universal human rights of and affect living conditions for women, gender minorities, people of color, workers, indigenous peoples, immigrants and youth. We support movements to reclaim and construct human dignity and justice for all.


In May 2018, the Board of Directors approved the above language for a broader and more relevant mission that addresses the social justice concerns arising within the U.S. and abroad since the beginning of a new presidential administration in 2017.   Our history as a small nonprofit since 2001 reflects a commitment to advance social justice education.  We focused on encouraging public awareness of the important role of working women in the rapidly expanding global economy as it was being shaped by international trade law and policy in the early 1990s. 

WOB has dedicated itself to promote better understanding  of how the ideology of “free market fundamentalism,” encouraged the enactment of  pro-corporate terms in the 1993 North American Free Trade Agreement creating an unfair imbalance of power between employers and workers.  The terms were so pro-employer that NAFTA ushered in a period where thousands of U.S. companies moved assembly productions across the border.  They increased the hiring of Mexican workers, and generated record profits. But the real beneficiaries of the supposed prosperity went to investors, shareholders and to dramatically high CEO salaries.  In turn, Mexican laborers found work but not living wages, and they were and still are exposed to brutal, long  workdays of repetitive unskilled tasks, often unsafe or even toxic workplaces, and female workers are still vulnerable to sexual harassment, disrespect and sex-based discrimination. 

The bulk of educational materials on this website enhance knowledge of how NAFTA truly affected people’s lives and communities — whether in the borderlands, the domestic U.S. or in the global economy.  We have historically also supported the courageous working women of the Comité Fronterizo de Obreras (the CFO). CFO volunteers, who are maquila workers themselves, teach fellow workers how to exercise their rights under Mexican labor law and hold accountable American companies who don’t pay a living wage, engage in wage theft, blacklist those who fight for better working conditions and deny workers the human rights to dignity and safety at work and at home.   

WOB’s primary mission continues to be educational. Since 2017, however, we seek to enhance public knowledge of the importance of holding both government and powerful corporations accountable in a democracy, especially when unregulated power produces extremist/ reactionary conduct, public or private, targeting people violently because they belong to a vulnerable social group, are worker,  migrants, undocumented residents,  or because of their race, religion, color, gender or sexuality.  WOB supports  domestic and global movements for social reforms promoting the human right to work, shelter, education, health and safety and to dignity, equality and inclusion. 

All of the materials on this website are provided to help researchers, activists and allies of people struggling for fair and just treatment in their homes, schools or workplaces.  Wherever possible we will continue to gather unique stories from the voices of the defenseless or the disenfranchised members of our interdependent global society.  And as always, while our historic focus has been on Mexican laborers and migrants along the 2,000 mile U.S.-Mexico border, the issues of law, power, militarized border patrol, and harassment based on discrimination against poor people of color along the borderlands can serve as a lens for advancing the global and human rights to dignity, safety, travel and to work in the U.S. or anywhere in today’s complex and interdependent global economy. 

WOMEN ON THE BORDER  is a 501C3 tax exempt organization founded as a Texas-based non-profit corporation in the year 2000. As of 2018 it is expanding activities in the Midwest in and around  Chicago, Illinois.

Women on the Border is happy to share our research with researchers and writers as long as you give us credit. Please contact us via email at elviaarriola@gmail.com, and identify the material you plan to use.    You can also leave a voice mail at 512-293-1797.  Thank you.

Thank you!


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