The Centre for Global Women’s Studies is proud to have supported each of the following doctoral or masters researchers who have successfully completed major research projects. Their combined work contributes greatly to our knowledge and understanding of diverse efforts, across a variety of contexts to name, navigate and transform obstacles to women’s empowerment, gender equality and enjoyment of human rights.    

Caroline Finn 

Project Title: Intra-household decision-making during a period of recession and austerity in Ireland

I have been a PhD candidate with the Centre for Global Women’s Studies since September 2012. My doctoral thesis aims to examine, in the context of the economic crisis, how the interrelationship between intra-household economic inequality and gender relations play out across the life course in Ireland. More specifically the thesis examines how couples make decisions about expenditure, paid labour and unpaid labour during a period of recession and austerity. The research adopts a feminist economics perspective and employs a mix method research design in order to gain an insight into how power relations may have been altered in the home over the course of the economic crisis.

  • Funding:  Irish Research Council (2012-2015), Hardiman Scholarship (2015-2016)   
  • Project supervisor: Dr Nata Duvvury

Carol Ballantine 

Project title: Stigma and the social impacts of Violence against Women and Girls (VAWG)

The issue of VAWG is generally addressed with a public health or human rights lens; as such, the impacts of VAWG on the health of individual women and on population health are increasingly understood. The impacts of VAWG on society more broadly are less well-documented. This project is a qualitative inquiry into the impacts of VAWG on community cohesion and group solidarity, and the role of stigma and shame in mediating those impacts.

  • Funding:UK Department for International Development (2015-present)
  • Project supervisors: Dr Nata Duvvury and Dr. Stacey Scriver

Hadeel Boshmaf

Project title: Women Entrepreneurs and Economic Growth 

Women entrepreneurs played an instrumental role in the economic development of nations but their role is not homogenous in each country. This research aims to explore the challenges faced by Jordanian women entrepreneurs, in particular the constraints posed by labour market and social policies that limit women’s economic participation in Jordan. The study also examines the links between women’s economic participation and economic growth to understand the critical role of women entrepreneurs in Jordan’s economy.

  • Funding: The University of Jordan (2015-present)
  • Project supervisor: Dr. Nata Duvvury

Amie Lajoie 

Project title: Challenging assumptions of vulnerability: The influence of gender in the work, lives, and identities of women human rights defenders

My project explores gender in the lives and activities of women human rights defenders. Mainstream human rights language centres on female gender as a point of vulnerability for human rights activism, and my project questions this discourse by investigating the complex role of gender as perceived by women defenders themselves. By investigating how gender is significant for women in the human rights field, I comprehensively analyse how the concept of a “women human rights defender” is constructed and works with wider gender norms and social barriers.

  • Funding:Galway Doctoral Scholarship (2013- present)      
  • Project supervisor: Dr. Niamh Reilly

Dr. Emma Brannlund (2016)

Project title: Narrating in/security: women’s activism in Kashmir

This thesis explores Kashmiri women activists’ narratives of everyday experiences of in/security. Through in-depth interviews and focus group discussions with activists based in the Kashmir Valley, I examine the relationship between women's political activism and in/security. The thesis contributes to feminist security studies and feminist theory through an interrogation of security in relation to ideas about gender, identity, and subjectivity.


  • Global Women’s Studies Doctoral Starter Scholarship (2008-2009)
  • Global Women’s Studies Doctoral Fellowship (2009-2012)
  • Global Women’s Studies Scholarship (2008-2009)
  • ISA Annual Convention Travel Bursary (2013)

Supervisor: Dr. Nata Duvvury

Dr. Caroline Forde (2015)

Project Title: Sexual Violence and the Recovery Process: An Exploration of Rape Crisis Centre Counselling in Ireland

This thesis investigates the nature and effectiveness of Irish Rape Crisis Centre (RCC) counselling in order to understand the factors that influence recovery from sexual violence and the responses required. Using a mixed strategy design founded upon the perspectives of both survivors and counsellors, it assesses the outcomes of the counselling services provided and explores the role of these services in the recovery process. A particular focus was placed on understanding how gender influences the RCC approach and how factors such as gender facilitate or impede recovery. 


  • Irish Research Council Postgraduate Scholarship (2011-2014)
  • National University of Ireland, Galway Doctoral Research Scholarship (2010-2011)
  • NUIG Community Knowledge Initiative funding to disseminate the findings (June 2015)

Principal supervisor: Dr. Nata Duvvury

Dr. Aura Lounasmaa (2015)

Project title: Women and modernity: the global and the local in Moroccan women's NGOs' advocacy and public awareness work

This thesis examines the referential and linguistic strategies used by Moroccan women's NGOs in their advocacy and public awareness work. The study is based on interviews with 24 NGO directors from geographically and ideologically wide ranging women's groups across Morocco. This thesis provides a wealth of empirical evidence on the complexities of linguistic strategies in women's activism in Morocco and places them in the political and social context of the country.


  • Global Women’s Studies Doctoral Starter Scholarship (2008-2009)
  • Galway doctoral scholarship (2009-2011)
  • Irish Research Council for Humanities and Social Sciences Postgraduate Scholarship (2011-2012)

Principal supervisor: Dr. Nata Duvvury

Dr. Iris Elliott (2014)

Project title: Progressing counter-hegemonies of women's human rights in Ireland: Feminist activists' vernacularisation practices

This project investigates the ways in which feminist human rights activists working in Ireland are able to develop counter-hegemonies of women's human rights. Through a qualitative research approach focused on the Women's Human Rights Alliance (WHRA), the project recognises the persistent draw of human rights for feminist activists and argues for vernacularisation as an emergent approach through which women's human rights could be progressively realised in Ireland


  • Irish Research Council Postgraduate Scholarship (2009-2010)     

Principal supervisor: Dr. Niamh Reilly

Dr. Emily Bent (2013)

Project title: (Re) thinking "The Girl Effect": A Critical Analysis of Girls' Political Subjectivity and Agency at the United Nations 54th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW54)

Using the tools of feminist poststructuralist analysis, this project assesses the experiences of girl delegates at the UN 54th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women. Through qualitative research methods of discursive deconstruction and voice-centred research, the project suggests that the “Girl Effect” logic discursively (re)produces oppositional girlhoods and neoliberal girl power. The project also scrutinises and reveals the possibilities for girls' political subjectivity and agency vis-à-vis the “Girl Effect” paradigm.


  • Galway Doctoral Scholarship (2008-12)

Principal supervisor: Dr. Niamh Reilly

Marja Almqvist (MLitt) (2014)

Project title:  Women, Equality and Civil Society

This thesis explores the intersection between ‘gender’ and ‘society’ as two topics that are most often treated as distinct from each other within political science. Informed by experience working with community groups in Bosnia Herzegovina, the project engages with the historical development of the idea of ‘civil society’ and while also offering an in-depth feminist critique of the concept as a whole. The implications of the intertwining between the typology and the feminists critiques is explored. 


  • Global Women's Studies Postgraduate Scholar (2008-09) and IRC Postgraduate Scholar (2009-12)

Principal supervisor: Dr. Niamh Reilly