Meghna Mohandas


PhD Candidate

Meghna was born and raised in the south Indian state of Kerala. She pursued an undergraduate degree in architecture from the School of Planning and Architecture, Bhopal, and a postgraduate degree in urban sociology from the London School of Economics. Meghna has experience working on research, design, and policy development pertaining to issues of affordable housing in Bengaluru, London, and Kozhikode. She moved to Vancouver in September 2021 to commence her doctoral degree at UBC SCARP.

Planning Safer Cities for Marginalized Women in India

Meghna is studying socio-spatial inequalities experienced by indigenous women from North-East India who migrate to Bengaluru temporarily for employment in the intimate economy as beauty parlor and spa workers. Race and gender-based discrimination in the rental housing market, unsafe and exploitative working environments, and sexual harassment in public spaces are some specific instances of inequalities experienced by these racialized and sexualized women. Meghna is using urban ethnography to document spatial manifestations of corporeal violence perpetrated against these subaltern women. Her objective is to contribute towards decolonizing urban planning frameworks and creating safer cities for marginalized bodies in urban India.

  • 4 Year Fellowship (4YF), University of British Columbia, 2021-2025
  • Faculty of Applied Science Graduate Award, University of British Columbia, 2021
  • President's Academic Excellence Initiative PhD Award, University of British Columbia, 2021
  • International Tuition Award, University of British Columbia, 2021
  • Finalist, CPPR-ATLAS South Asia Public Policy Challenge, 2020
  • 3rd Prize, Berkeley Essay Writing Competition, 2015 (by University of California, Berkeley)
Meghna Mohandas
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