Abril Ríos-Rivera

DPhil in Migration Studies

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Supervisors: Carlos Vargas-Silva and Alexander Betts

College Affiliation: Green Templeton College

Thesis title: Women's Empowerment in the context of international migration: The Case of Mexico

Abril (she/her/ella) 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.

Her doctoral research focuses on women and transwomen's processes of decision-making and empowerment in the context of international migration in Mexico. She looks at these dynamics in two Mexican cities bordering Guatemala, the USA, and the capital. She uses photovoice (participatory photography and narratives) interviews and survey data to explore her research topic and follows her interlocutors for at least six months. She collaborates with groups of Latin American and Caribbean migrant women and transwomen, migrant men, local communities, civil society organisations, experts, and activists. Her analysis considers psychosocial aspects shaping decision-making, gendered expressions and identities, discrimination, restrictive migration policies in the Americas, forced immobility, strategies of resistance, organised collective actions and support to achieve common goals.

As a consultant, Abril also supports a World Bank and UNHCR research program on displacement, poverty, and development in Kenya. In addition, 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. Abril is a psychologist specialising in social and cultural psychology and gender studies and holds a master's degree in Migration and Intercultural Relations.


Imprisoned, Lost and Empowered: Photo-Narratives of Refugees and Migrants in Mexico
Article | Oxford Monitor of Forced Migration vol. 11, issue 2 | January 2024

Photovoice practitioner from Mexico working with people to explore themes of Migration & Gender
Podcast | Our Creative Connection | 25/08/2023