I obtained my PhD in Gender & Diversity at the Centre for Research on Culture and Gender at Ghent University. My doctoral research studied the migration trajectories, personal strengths and experiences of female family migrants in Flanders. It was an ethnographic study on motherhood, affective citizenship and the gendered politics of migration with a focus on how migrant women in particular navigate the many challenges of migrant motherhood, precarity, care and integration. After an extensive literature study I started a two-year field study that provided me with rich qualitative data. In addition to older and newer generations of migrant women, I also interviewed institutional experts, social workers, practitioners and activists working in the field of migration and integration. Next to in-depth interviews and group discussions, I additionally conducted participatory research in integration programmes and courses in Antwerp. This PhD research resulted in four scientific articles, two of which were published in international peer-reviewed journals. As migration trajectories of family migrants, community care and (transnational) social ties were important theme’s throughout my PhD, I am particularly interested in the trajectories and experiences of displaced migrants. During the years preceding my PhD I have worked at ELLA, a civil society organisation working on the intersection of gender, ethnic diversity and migration, where I gained extensive experience in conducting applied scientific research that has value for both local (migrant) communities and policymakers. Currently I am a postdoctoral researcher at CeMIS (the Centre for Migration and Intercultural Studies at UAntwerpen) where I have conducted research on refugees and other migrants’ perceptions on migration to Europe (H2020 project). In the recent months I have also been involved in the writing of a Horizon Europe proposal on gender empowerment and inclusion from a co-creative approach.
Rethinking Inclusion and Gender empowerment: A participatory action research (ReIncluGen).
AbstractThe ReIncluGen project aims to conceptualise gender empowerment building on the innovative theoretical concept of 'situated intersectionality' and study, co-evaluate and co-develop good practices of civil society organisations (CSOs) and media outlets that fight structural gender violence and promote gender empowerment and inclusion. Using participatory and co-creative action research with European CSOs and their members will help us to examine the situated meanings of gender empowerment within different societal spheres with explicit attention to migrant women and girls and their diversity and agency. In doing so we will include a wide variety of CSOs working with and for migrant women and girls focusing on themes such as gender equality, (sexual) violence, representation, socio-cultural participation and labour market integration using education, networking, legal counselling and psychological therapy. To consider the socio-political landscape, we will focus on Austria, Belgium, Italy, Poland and Spain, which vary in terms of gender policies and inequalities and may also impact the CSO practises to foster empowerment. The research objectives are threefold. The first is to use a bottom-up and participatory approach to move beyond the written diversity and gender equality policies and unpack the different conceptualisations of gender 'empowerment' across spheres and contexts. The second is to conduct an evaluation and impact assessment of empowering and inclusive trajectories applied in distinct CSOs in order to co-design innovative tools to support their gender empowerment and inclusion. We aim to understand their rationale, linkage with prevailing policies, contextual preconditions of their success, and study their applicability across different organisations, countries and cultural contexts. The third is to examine the discourses and actions of media and digital cultures in strengthening gender empowerment and how they are used and implemented by CSOs.
- Research Project