OLAGN: Decision making and (dis)empowerment on the move: migrant women and trans women in Mexico

Speaker: Abril Rios (Centre of Migration, Policy & Society) 

Discussant: Joana Perrone (DPhil Candidate in Area Studies, University of Oxford) 


To join online: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86388842654?pwd=V1JpZ21xR3JZSXNyeGRSRDRSSnZwZz09


Abstract: Migration brings with it new opportunities and constraints that can accelerate or stifle processes of empowerment. People on the move, transiting spaces and systems of oppression, face inequalities, but they also resist and negotiate based on compounding factors at multiple levels. I explore how intersecting factors at the individual, interpersonal and institutional policy levels influence women, and gender-nonconforming people’s capacity to expand their ability to make strategic life choices—empowerment. I look at these dynamics by exploring the case of Latin American and Caribbean refugees and other survival migrants in three Mexican cities: Tapachula, bordering Guatemala, Tijuana, bordering the USA, and the capital city. I used photovoice, surveys and in-depth interviews, and I continue to maintain contact with my interlocutors over social media. To approach participants, I collaborated with ten civil society organisations. My ongoing analysis considers psychosocial aspects shaping decisionmaking, gendered expressions and identities, discrimination, restrictive migration policies in the Americas, forced immobilities, strategies of resistance, organised collective actions and support to achieve common goals.


abril rios rivera 2023

Bio: Abril Rios (she/her/ella) is a DPhil student in Migration Studies at the University of Oxford. She is interested in the intersections of migration, gendered relations, power, and agency. She prioritises perspectives that move away from discourses centred on vulnerabilities to acknowledge the agentic capabilities of migrants within structures. Abril is a psychologist specialising in social and cultural psychology and gender studies and holds a master’s degree in Migration and Intercultural Relations. She has more than seven years of experience working in the development sector on issues related to migration and entrepreneurship in Mexico and East African countries. As a consultant, Abril also supports a World Bank and UNHCR research program on displacement, poverty, and development in Kenya. Visit Abril’s website here.


Looking forward to seeing many of you there! 

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