Elena is a Research Officer at IDS and has over 10 years’ work experience in Gender and Development, which combine a development practitioner profile with teaching and training experiences, and participation in gender justice social movements. With a background in Political Science, she recently completed a PhD in Gender Studies. Her research interests include gender, sexualities, intersectionality, transnational social movements, migration and refugeehood.
Elena built her Gender and Development expertise by working in different capacities for NGOs, GOs, UN organizations, and higher education institutions, and in particular in/on the MENA region. She worked on programs and policies promoting women’s empowerment in the social, political and economic spheres, including by contributing to initiatives aiming to eradicate violence against women and more broadly, gender-based violence.
Her academic background includes a PhD in Gender Studies (SOAS), a MA in Gender and Development (University of Sussex), and a BA in Political Science (University of Bologna). Her PhD dissertation (2016) addressed the relationship between morality, embodiment and work in contemporary Western countries, which she discussed through the lenses of sexuality and sex work.
In recent years she has also been doing research on issues of youth socio-economic inclusion and exclusion in the MENA region, and previously, for her BA, she worked on the tension between gender and nation in the context of Palestinian women’s participation in the struggle for national liberation from Israeli occupation.