Dr Gemma McKenzie LLB.Hons, LLM, PGCert, MPH, PhD
ESRC Post-Doctoral Fellow
Gemma has an undergraduate degree in English and German Laws and postgraduate degrees in International Human Rights Laws and Public Health. She also has a postgraduate certificate in Bioethics and has passed the Bar Vocational Course (professional legal qualification required to be a barrister). Her PhD explored the experiences of women who had freebirthed in the UK (intentionally given birth without doctors or midwives present).
Prior to commencing her PhD, Gemma worked in family law and taught English and European Union law at universities in the UK and throughout Central Europe. She also worked at the College of Policing on projects largely pertaining to women’s issues and human rights such as Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (FGM/C), domestic abuse, and stalking and harassment.
She has also worked and volunteered at various third sector organisations in the UK and abroad, most recently at the Institute for Addressing Strangulation. She often volunteers her time at AIMS (Association for Improvements in the Maternity Services).
Her current project focusses on obstetric violence in the home, the standards of behaviour society expects from pregnant women (the Good Mother concept) and the social and legal consequences when women do not conform. Gemma also applies creative methodologies to her research and is exploring the use of the so called ‘Heroine’s Journey’ as a way of presenting findings in feminist research such as the Voice Centred Relational Method (VCRM).
In addition, she is working on a public engagement project that highlights human rights in childbirth via the use of crochet and the idea of yarnbombing.