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Gender and Development Research in Geography Department

Posted on 08/03/2014
Anti-Domestic Violence Mural

Mural against domestic violence, Teotilan del Valle, Oaxaca, Mexico. Source: Katie Willis

To celebrate International Women's Day 2014, we are happy to profile gender and development research being carried out by staff and students in the Politics, Development and Sustainability group in the Department of Geography at RHUL.

Katherine Brickell has recently returned from Cambodia where she launched a research report on domestic violence legislation and discussing its findings with Cambodian legislators, local representatives of UNWomen and law students at Pannasastra University, Phnom Penh. The research was funded by an ESRC/DFID grant and was conducted in collaboration with Cambodian scholars and NGOs. Further information can be found at www.katherinebrickell.com/2014/01/19/new-research-report-on-domestic-violence-law-in-cambodia/

Violence against women is also the theme of research being carried out by PhD student Mary Cobbett in Kenya. She is working alongside the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS) to evaluate their 'Stop the Violence' campaign.

Ronda Zelezny-Green is another PDS PhD student working in the field of girls' education in Kenya. Her research focuses on the role of mobile phones in supporting education for secondary school pupils in Nairobi. Further information can be found on Ronda's blog. Ronda is also a member of the RHUL ICT4D Centre.

While the experiences of girls and young women have attracted significant attention, demographic trends worldwide have meant an increase in the size of elderly populations. Vandana Desai's work in Mumbai has focused on the lives of older women, particularly widows, living in low-income and informal settlements in the city.

Katie Willis has been conducting research on gender and development for over twenty years. This research has focused particularly on gender and intra-household relations, looking most notably at the role of migration and work in challenging or reinforcing prevailing gender norms and practices. She has recently collaborated with PDS colleagues Vandana Desai and Katherine Brickell on resarch examining the changing understandings and practices of love in Asia. This involved fieldwork in Mumbai, Phnom Penh and Taipei.

Felicity Butler, a second-year PhD student, is working with farmers' co-operatives in Central America to investigate how to price fair trade products to take into account women's unpaid work. Felicity's PhD is part-funded by the Body Shop. For further information see Felicity's website: womenincommunitytrade.org



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