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Dr Mirna Guha

Senior Lecturer
Faculty of Arts, Humanities, Education and Social Sciences
Humanities and Social Sciences
Areas of Expertise:
Sociology , Gender
Research Supervision:

Mirna is a Senior Lecturer in Sociology and Course Leader for ARU's MA Sociology degree. She is a political sociologist who researches everyday experiences of gender violence and social (in)justice within marginalised communities globally. Her teaching specialisms include feminist theory, social inequalities, and discourses and interventions on gender and development.

[email protected]


Dr Mirna Guha’s interdisciplinary research and teaching specialisms encompass topics across sociology, criminology, development studies, and public health. Specifically, she teaches undergraduate and postgraduate modules on decolonising sociology, sexual and gender-based violence, and global inequalities, and supervises doctoral projects on similar topics.

Mirna has a PhD in International Development from the University of East Anglia. Her doctoral research, which she has published in high-ranking and reputed academic journals like Gender, Place and Culture and open access practitioner-focused journals like Gender and Development, focuses on everyday violence and resistance in the lives of marginalised women who sell sex in urban India. She is currently developing a book manuscript based on this research.

Prior to joining ARU, Mirna worked at the Institute of Criminology at the University of Cambridge, analysing the counter-terrorism experiences of ethnic minority communities in the UK. Between 2019 and 2020, Mirna collaborated on a GCRF project led by Dr Henrike Donner (Goldsmiths, University of London) on gender inequalities in informal urban housing in India.

Since 2021, she has been leading internally funded research titled “We Simply Don’t Know Enough: Investigating the vulnerabilities of South Asian women around Domestic Abuse in East England”. The mixed methods research aims to generate knowledge on the specific and complex vulnerabilities of South Asian -origin women around domestic abuse to strengthen service provision in East England. Findings from the initial phases of the project have been featured in Cambridgeshire Live and BBC Radio Cambridgeshire. Mirna disseminated her research findings at the Cambridge City Council Domestic Abuse conference in November 2022, and was commissioned to create awareness materials for 16 Days of Activism to End Violence Against Women and Girls which feature on the website of the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence Partnership. She was also invited to speak at the Women’s Parliament chaired by Hon. Dr Jocelyn Scutt held at Cambridge Guildhall on violence against women and economic independence, as part of the campaign for a Women’s Bill of Rights in the UK.

Before embarking on an academic career, Mirna worked on the issue of gender violence as a development practitioner, undertaking programme coordination and research on anti-trafficking interventions across India, Nepal and Bangladesh. She is passionate about amplifying the voices of marginalised women and girls experiencing violence globally and conducting academic research which informs and drives meaningful policy-making.

Spoken Languages
  • English
  • Bengali
  • Hindi
Research interests
  • Gender Based Violence
  • Gender Relations
  • Social Inequalities
  • Gender and Development
  • Impact Evaluation
Areas of research supervision
  • Gender Based Violence
  • Gender Relations
  • Social Inequalities
  • Gender and Development
  • Impact Evaluation

Current PhD supervisions as second supervisor:

  • Gender based violence in the lives of street children in Nigeria
  • Social Inclusion of EAL pupils within schools and classrooms in England

Mirna leads the MA Sociology course and teaches ‘Contemporary Debates in Sociology’ and ‘Globalisation, Social Welfare and Social Policy.

Within BA Sociology, she leads modules titled ‘Feminist Debates and Activism’ ‘Sexuality and Social Control’ and ‘Contemporary Inequalities’.

  • PhD, International Development. University of East Anglia – fully funded by the Postgraduate Internationalisation Studentship awarded by the Faculty of Social Science (SSF), UEA.
  • MA, Gender and International Development. University of Warwick - fully funded by the Commonwealth Shared Scholarship
  • MA, English, Jadavpur University, India
  • BA, English (Hons), Jadavpur University, India
Memberships, editorial boards
  • Co-Convenor. Women and Development Study Group, Development Studies Association
  • Co-editor. Development in Practice. Special Issue: Future of Teaching Gender and Development (under preparation)
  • Co-editor. Contemporary South Asia. Special section on Sex work in India (under preparation)
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (HEA)
  • Member, Development Studies Association
  • Member, British Sociological Association
  • Member, Sex Work Research Hub
  • Member, European Network on Gender Violence
Research grants, consultancy, knowledge exchange
  • January 2021-Present. Principal Investigator. ‘We Simply Don’t Know Enough: Investigating the vulnerabilities of Asian women around domestic abuse in East England. Grant amount: £25,595 (funded under the Safe and Inclusive Communities theme, and by the AHSS Research and Innovation fund, Anglia Ruskin University).
  • Jan 2019 – March 2020. Co-Investigator: Gender inequalities and informal urban housing in India. PI: Dr Henrike Donner. £34,000. Funded by GCRF, Goldsmiths, University of London.
  • November 2022. Consultant, Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence Partnership Manager. Awareness posters on Asian women and Domestic Abuse for 16 Days of Activism to End Violence Against Women.
Selected recent publications

Sole-authored journal articles

Guha, Mirna., 2019. ''Safe spaces' and 'bad' girls: 'child marriage victims' experiences from a shelter in Eastern India, Gender, Place & Culture', 26:1, 128-144, DOI:10.1080/0966369X.2019.1574720

Guha, M., 2019. ‘Do you really want to hear about my life?’: doing ‘feminist research’with women in sex work in Eastern India. Gender & Development, 27(3), pp.505-521. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/13552074.2019.1664045

Guha, Mirna (2018). 'Disrupting the 'life-cycle' of violence in social relations: recommendations for anti-trafficking interventions from an analysis of pathways out of sex work for women in Eastern India', Gender & Development, 26:1, 53-69,DOI: 10.1080/13552074.2018.1429098. Open access version.

Guha, M., 2018. Sartorially weaving their way through bhodrota (respectability): Georgette sarees, bangles and selling sex in a Kolkata neighbourhood. International Journal of Fashion Studies, 5(2), pp.399-405. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1386/infs.5.2.399_7

Book chapter

Guha, M., 2020. '"I entered this life because my husband left me, I have to be careful now": A study of domesticity, intimacy and belonging in the lives of women in sex work in a red-light area in Eastern India’ in J. Carter and L. Arocha (eds.) Romantic relationships in a time of cold intimacies. London: Palgrave.


Guha, Mirna. 2019. ‘Dynamic Lives, Dynamic Identities: Representing Agency and Victimhood Within the Lives of Women in Sex Work’. The Sociological Review, Politics of Representation collection.


‘What does feminist research really look like?’ Gender and Development, OXFAM.

Recent presentations and conferences

Invited Speaker. Violence against Women in South Asian communities. Violence Against Women and Girls Research Network (UK) webinar. 8 February 2022.

Invited speaker. Everyday violence against marginalised women in England and India: A comparison. Symbiosis University (India) and University of Pune (India). January 2023.

Invited speaker. Women’s Bill of Rights, Women’s Parliament UK. “Violence Against Ethnic Minority Women in England”. Cambridge Guildhall. 8 December 2022.

Invited speaker. “We simply don’t know enough: Investigating the vulnerabilities of Asian women around Domestic Abuse, Domestic Abuse Conference, Cambridge City Council. 18th November 2022.

Invited speaker. Decolonising sexual health globally. London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. 8 March 2023 (scheduled).

Paper presentation. Sociological research in action: Facilitating knowledge exchange on vulnerabilities of Asian women around domestic abuse in East England. British Sociological Association Annual Conference. University of Manchester. 12-14 April 2023 (scheduled).

Media experience

Cambridgeshire Live, 23 September 2022. Asian women in Cambs facing domestic abuse feel ‘silenced' by their community, research finds.

BBC Radio Cambridgeshire. 15 September 2022. Interview with Dotty McLeod on the Breakfast Show.