Simona Sokolovska has obtained a Cum Laude for her Doctoral Thesis “Life Histories of the Empowerment of South Asian Migrant Women in the Basque Country. Gender Roles, Culture, Identity and Transformations” presented at the University of Deusto on 5 March 2021.
This thesis, supervised by María Silvestre Cabrera and Raquel Royo Prieto, portrayed the personal empowerment of women from South Asia in the Basque Country and attempted to present the path towards the empowerment of migrant women, gender roles, cultural identity and migration as an empowering and transformative tool. This work is an initial attempt to address the factors that contribute to the construction of gender roles in the culture of origin of the participants, the transformation of cultural identity into personal identity and an attempt to understand the role of female networking in the creation of alliances among women. Furthermore, the visualisation of women and the relevance of women’s life experiences have been addressed.
The empirical part has been conducted in the Basque Country with migrant women from India, Nepal and Bangladesh, using the narrative research approach through life history as methodology. On the basis of the results of the research, it can be concluded that migration has a positive effect on migrant women from South Asia. Some of the empowering features identified in the Thesis are: the capacity to express themselves in the local language, decision making capacity, self-reliance, self-sufficiency, self-esteem, financial independence, freedom of choice, strength and the creation of networks among women.
Apart from completing her PhD in Human Rights: Ethical, Social and Political Challenges, Simona also holds a Master´s Degree in Intervention in Cases of Violence against Women by the University of Deusto. As a pre-doctoral fellow she has done a Research Affiliation at TATA Institute of Social Sciences in Mumbai, India and at University Complutense of Madrid. Her main areas of interest are migration, women and gender studies. Simona is member of the Gender Interdisciplinary Research Platform.