Victoria Sicilia

I am currently a PhD student in the Cultural Studies Interdisciplinary Graduate Program at Queen’s University, having recently completed my MA thesis fieldwork in the Malabar region at the University of Calicut in Kerala, India. My research is centered upon the visible and invisible impacts of gender differentiating ideology for Malayalam women in Kerala. In my doctoral work, I will examine how this ideology has resulted in growing numbers of suicide and violence against women in the region, despite subsequent staggering growth in education and physical health. To do this, I will explore the ways in which various socialization processes, including in residential and educational spheres, have contributed to the inculcation of patriarchal mindsets that are firmly embedded in the foundation of Malabar society. I aim to investigate how these mindsets are intrinsically canonized, creating societal, dominantly male, intransigence. By doing so, my research will explicate how and why women in Kerala possess the highest physical health index in the country, yet, simultaneously hold the lowest mental health index. Indeed the assumption that education congenitally fosters empowerment and freedom of mobility for women upon exploration has little bearing, as issues of violence, suicide, and restriction continue to rise in the Malabar region. My work, therefore, hopes to make a timely contribution to numerous academic disciplines discussing this issue, including political studies, gender studies, and global development studies.