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Cross-border woman, Fany's testimony

Solidary Wheels is based in Melilla but the #SouthernBorder of Europe includes Ceuta as well, another territory of North Africa controlled by Spain. Together, Ceuta and Melilla form Europe’s only land borders with the African continent. Today we want to call attention to Ceuta, and the many trans-border workers who live and work there, many of whom are denied rights and unable to cross from Ceuta to the peninsula.

We leave you the words of Fany, who is fighting so that her mother can come and live with her in Madrid. Despite having Spanish nationality, Fany has not been able to transfer residency for her mother. To hear more of Fany and Fatima’s story, watch our #8M webinar at

“I am a Spanish woman of Moroccan origin, I was born in the neighboring city of Castillejos and I came to Ceuta when I was 15 years old. I have my documentation in order and I have been Spanish for 4 years. The problem is that my mother is a cross-border woman who worked in Ceuta in domestic service and was never legally hired in any of the times that she worked in private homes for 18 years.

After being in Ceuta for years, I went to Madrid and then I moved to Barcelona. In Barcelona I worked for 10 years as a caregiver for the elderly and then returned to Madrid, where I saw that there were more opportunities. I was working in Madrid doing several contract jobs so I had my residence in order for another 10 years after that.

I had to go back to Ceuta because my mother got sick and since she hadn't contributed to social security in any of her jobs she couldn't access health care. (without a contract there is not the social security deposit, and without an empadron you cannot get a public health card) They only treated her in the emergency room, a place she then had to return to, for not having outpatient treatment.

My mother is a woman who for 18 years worked without rights. She was mistreated by her employers because she was beginning to be older and they no longer considered her useful for continuing to work. She is one of the victims of precariousness in Spain, because as a foreigner she cannot maintain a decent quality of life.

Ceuta is now drowned due to the closure of the border and I want to take my mother with me to the Peninsula because now I have an opportunity to work in Madrid. But being illegal and a foreigner in this country does not allow you to be able to cross to the other side to have a good life."



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