Casa Amiga: Addressing Violence Against Women On The U.S.-Mexico Border

Abstract

This case focuses on Casa Amiga, a nonprofit organization struggling to address a growing trend of violence against women in Juárez, Mexico a town situated directly on the U.S.-Mexico border. Casa Amiga is guided by its overall mission of eliminating and preventing the different forms of oppression that affect women, particularly violence. To this end, Casa Amiga has been working towards two primary goals: to end a string of violent murders affecting women in Juárez, and to highlight the critical services the center offers to women suffering from domestic and sexual violence.

Casa Amiga operates in a culturally complex international environment in which economic, cultural, and political divisions complicate and constrain the options available to the case's protagonist, Esther Chávez Cano. Good policy and management in this context requires careful consideration of diverse viewpoints and creative thinking about options that will be workable for multiple constituencies in a turbulent environment. The case will ask students to analyze the complex operating environment in which Esther must work and assess the opportunities and threats inherent in relationships between the various stakeholders and how these relationships can help further Casa Amiga's goals. Additionally, the case requires students to develop concrete organizational strategies and analyze specific advocacy alternatives that take into account diverse perspectives, issues of social justice, and political constraints and opportunities.

This case can be taught in nonprofit management, NGO, strategic management courses and courses on gender and human rights to engage students in thinking about how a nonprofit organization can effectively achieve its goals at a local, national, and international level amidst a situation of dire human rights violations. The case covers such major topics as: 

  • Mapping external environments
  • Building power through relationships, including a Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats (SWOT) analysis 
  • Coalition building across systems by assessing and improving relationships and communication internally and externally
  • Utilizing a support base to mobilize political will to impact policy on behalf of oppressed women

The case represents a variety of interests and how these interests change over the course of time. The case is structured to fit into one 80-minute class period.

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