Matter of Kasinga
The Matter of Kasinga was a legal case decided in June 1996 involving Fauziya Kassindja (surname also spelled as Kasinga), a Togolese teenager seeking asylum in the United States in order to escape a tribal practice of female genital mutilation. The Board of Immigration Appeals granted her asylum in June 1996 after an earlier judge denied her claims. The case set a precedent in United States immigration law as applicants could now seek asylum in the United States from gender-based persecution, whereas previously religious or political grounds were often used to grant asylum.
Layli Miller-Muro, the student attorney who represented Kassindja before the immigration judge, subsequently founded the Tahirih Justice Center to provide legal aid and medical referrals to immigrant women escaping from gender-based violence and persecution. Karen Musalo, who spearheaded the litigation leading to the Board's positive decision in the case, founded the Center for Gender and Refugee Studies (CGRS), a national organization based at the University of California's Hastings College of the Law, which works to defend women refugees fleeing gender-based persecution. Kassindja (aka Kasinga) is a member of the CGRS Advisory Board.