Balkan Route: The Intersection and Pathways of Women Refugees

A Work in Progress Session with Research Associate Danica Anderson

danica anderson


With the modern-day global migration and pandemic crisis, relations between the European Union and the Western Balkans – the Balkan East-West route – are described as a social phenomenon.  The Russian war on Ukraine has 99% of refugees classified as women, with over half being children, utilizing the Balkan Route. However, outright hostility towards the female sex as a category stands rigid and fixed. Abstract terms cannot mitigate womens’ labels and nonrepresentational data and statistics. This requires a deeper dive spanning many feminist interdisciplinary fields. Over 30 years ago, during the Balkan War, of former Yugoslavia’s three million plus refugees, over 80% were women and children, nicknamed the “suitcase refugees” by Julie Mertus. However, there is no durable or life-sustaining humanitarian aid or psychological treatment for transgenerational trauma policies or mandates. In this presentation, Danica Anderson explores the relevance of the Balkan Route and its continuing significance in times of war and violence.

Danica Anderson, PhD, author, trauma expert, and social scientist, continues her work across the globe. Anderson has worked with the International Criminal Court, the Hague in Sub-Saharan Africa, the Department of Defense in Afghanistan, and her own nonprofit, the Kolo: Women’s Cross-Cultural Collaboration. She lectures and teaches internationally on topics related to the integration of neurobiology of trauma research and innovative trauma treatment paradigms to improve efficacy for traditional therapeutic modalities. Dr. Anderson has over two decades working with war and trauma survivors in conflict and war zones. Her Kolo-informed trauma research and clinical work is international and culturally diverse, focusing on women, refugees, and transgenerational trauma impacts. She authored Blood & Honey: The Secret Herstory, Balkan Women War Crimes and War Survivors, Nonkilling Balkans Transgenerational Trauma, and Trauma Informed Care, addressing cultural sensitivity among women veterans related to military sexual trauma. 

Wednesday, April 27
11am - 12pm EST
Remote va Zoom