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Department of Politics and International Studies (POLIS)



Farhana Rahman is a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow and Isaac Newton Trust Fellow at the Department of Politics and International Studies, University of Cambridge, as well as a Junior Research Fellow at Wolfson College Cambridge. Prior to this, she was a JSPS Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Tokyo, a Non-Residential Fellow at the Centre for Asia Pacific Refugee Studies at the University of Auckland, and a Fellow at the Harvard University Asia Center. Farhana received her PhD in 2021 from the University of Cambridge's Centre for Gender Studies, funded by the Cambridge International Trust, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, and the Canadian Centennial Scholarship Fund, amongst others. She also holds an MPhil in Multi-Disciplinary Gender Studies from the University of Cambridge (2014), and a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Peace and Conflict Studies, International Relations, and Arabic from the University of Toronto (2011).

Farhana is currently finalizing her first book project (based on her PhD), forthcoming with Cambridge University Press. Through feminist ethnographic research, the book focuses on how the mass exodus of the Rohingya community to the refugee camps outside of Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh has affected the gendered subjectivities and lived experiences of Rohingya refugee women. Her new Leverhulme project is a multi-sited ethnography exploring the transformation of gendered dynamics after forced migration at different geographic endpoints – the "camp" and the "city". Farhana's peer-reviewed articles and chapters have been published in various journals and edited volumes, including Journal of Refugee Studies, Feminist Review, and Journal of International Women’s Studies.

Farhana is also co-founder of Silkpath Relief Organization (, a non-profit providing humanitarian assistance to individuals devastated by calamities – in Afghanistan, and with Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh and Malaysia. In 2015, she helped to establish the first academic program in gender studies in Afghanistan, based at the American University of Afghanistan in Kabul, where she was a lecturer. Since 2014, Farhana has worked as a consultant providing technical expertise and trainings on gender equality, social policy, and human rights for various projects with UN Women, UNDP, and USAID in Asia and Africa. For her extensive research and work contributions to the field of gender and development, Farhana was the 2021 recipient of the Paula Kantor Award from the International Center for Research on Women (ICRW). 


Farhana’s research interests include gender, refugees and forced migration, international development, lived experiences in Asia, and violence and conflict.


Key publications: 


Book Manuscript

'Making a Life for Themselves: Gender, Identity, and Everyday Negotiations of Rohingya Women in Bangladesh’s Refugee Camps' (working title). Forthcoming: Cambridge University Press.

Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles

Peer-Reviewed Chapters in Edited Volumes

Commissioned Research Paper

Teaching and Supervisions

Research supervision: 

Farhana teaches a case and supervises POL16: The Politics of Conflict and Peace, and is a thesis supervisor for an MPhil POLIS student.

Leverhulme Early Career Fellow
Isaac Newton Trust Fellow
Junior Research Fellow at Wolfson College

Contact Details

Email address: