Dr. Masoumeh Velayati


Assistant Professor (Lecturer) in Gender and Development

Masoumeh Velayati has a multi- and inter-disciplinary educational background and qualifications in Islamic studies and social sciences: BA in Islamic Studies and Comparative Religions (University of Tehran); MA in Gender and International Development (University of Warwick) and PhD in Gender and Development (University of York). Using feminist framework and theories on urbanization and migration, her PhD research explores female migration in the Turkish-speaking region of Iran and the nature of migrant women’s economic activities under the shadow of state gender policies.

Masoumeh’s teaching and research focuses on issues overlapping with gender, politics, development, religion and feminism. As an expert in gender and development, her ongoing research includes Muslim women and work in the UK, gender relations within Muslim families, the everyday experiences of ‘Islam’ by Muslim women and their particular interest in pursuing Islamic knowledge and the formation of a religious identity in the secular context of the ‘west’.

She joined Al-Maktoum College in 2011, having previously taught and researched at Department of Politics, University of York; School of Geography, University of Leeds and the Department of History, Lancaster University. Her work experience at international development includes eight years as lead fundraiser and program coordinator at the United Nations Association International Service, an organization providing institutional strengthening and capacity building to its governmental and NGO partners in West Africa, Latin America and the Occupied Palestinian territory.

At Al-Maktoum College, she has designed the MSc Programme in Development, Islam and the Muslim World as well as the MLitt Programme in Gender and Islam, validated by the University of Aberdeen. In 2013, she also worked closely with Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) for the design and approval of six Customised Awards–SCQF-credit rated programmes. In addition to coordinating academic programmes, teaching and supervision, she has also served as the Head of Department and the College Director of Quality Assurance.

Masoumeh has disseminated her research in the forms of a monograph, peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters and presentations at national/international conferences. She is the author of Islam, Gender and Development: Rural-Urban Migration of Women in Iran (Lexington Books, 2011), exploring the relationship between female migration and development, studying diverse socio-cultural, economic and political conditions motivating peasants to migrate, with particular focus on the role of state gender policies and their impact on marginalized women’s access to socio-economic resources in Iran.

She is currently on sabbatical leave as Visiting Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Warwick, focusing on publishing her current research as a monograph and journal articles, along with developing new research projects.


Research interests

Feminisms (secular and religious); international development; migration (national, international and forced); gender and work (paid, unpaid and voluntary work); gender and politics; Iran, the Middle East and central Asia.

Dr. Masoumeh Velayati

+44 (0)1382 908070
[email protected]