Home>Gender Studies: Stacey Nicole, Working on Social and Gender-Based Violence

27.11.2023

Gender Studies: Stacey Nicole, Working on Social and Gender-Based Violence

Stacey Nicole Bellido joined Sciences Po in Paris after obtaining a bachelor degree in political science from the University of the Philippines.

She chose to continue her education in Europe, with a master’s degree in Human Rights and Humanitarian Action from our Paris School of International Affairs (PSIA) and the Advanced Certification in Gender Studies, a certificate open to all students in their second year of master programme by Sciences Po's Gender Studies department (PRESAGE).

She is interning at the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), on OECD - Philippines cooperation as well as gender initiatives of the Southeast Asia Regional Programme.

Let's meet this graduate.

Stacey Nicole Bellido at her graduation ceremony, June 2023. (credits: SNB)

WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO PURSUE THE CERTIFICATION IN GENDER STUDIES IN ADDITION TO YOUR MASTER'S PROGRAMME?

When I first applied to Sciences Po, I immediately knew that I wanted to pursue the Advanced Certification in Gender Studies because I have always been passionate about gender. Taking up feminist literary criticism in high school, back in the Philippines, was my first foray into the subject. I remember my teacher telling us to imagine that we are putting on feminist lenses as we analyse our texts, and I never took them off since then! In college, a course on feminist international relations further enkindled my interest in gender studies especially thanks to the book entitled Bananas, Beaches, and Bases by Cynthia Enloe. From a gender perspective, I believe I get to understand better the way the world around me works.

I like exploring the different dynamics of gender and how it cuts across all economic, political, and socio-cultural spheres. Gender is complex as it intersects with so many of today's contemporary challenges – such as disasters and humanitarian response, the digital divide, armed conflict, migration, etc. – which makes it all the more necessary to study and incorporate it into both policy and practice. So to study about international affairs alongside my gender studies was the perfect combination of my academic and professional interests and my passion.

HOW DID IT MATERIALISE IN PRACTICE?

Pursuing this Advanced Certification allowed me to take more classes on gender and learn from highly-esteemed gender experts in the field. It also drove me to pursue a gender-related internship with the non-profit organisation Data-Pop Alliance to work on their Data Feminism programme where I helped produce a comprehensive review of technology-based interventions to mitigate child marriage and female genital mutilation (FGM) across several countries in Africa and South Asia.

I aspire to be a gender expert myself, so I am very grateful to Sciences Po for equipping me with the tools I need to specialise in this field and hopefully use it to build a more gender equal world!

WOULD YOU LIKE TO TELL US ABOUT ONE OF YOUR GENDER STUDIES COURSES?

During my last semester at Sciences Po, I had the immense pleasure to learn from Dr. Nazand Begikhani in her class on “Researching Sexual and Gender-Based Violence in Conflict Zones”. I have taken several courses on gender throughout my academic journey but it was this class which first raised the important point about the human toll this field of work carries.  In discussing such heavy realities, I realised that the path I have chosen for myself will always carry with it certain sensitivities that must be dealt not only with skill and knowledge, but also with utmost care – for the people I work with, those I will work for, and more importantly for myself as a researcher or someone who aspires to work on the ground.

It moved me to explore at a deeper level that sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) is part and parcel of everyday life, not just during conflict time, and that if I were to work on addressing it, it means I have to look out for myself too so I can look out for others better. We started our semester with our professor asking us how we were; it was also my last official class for my entire master's programme and I believe she summed it up perfectly by reminding us to put the human person at the centre of everything we do and to not forget to take care of ourselves too along the way.

WHAT WOULD BE YOUR BEST MEMORY FROM YOUR TIME AT SCIENCES PO?

Probably all the lunches, study sessions, and picnics with my friends in the past two years (especially in the garden at 27, rue Saint-Guillaume!). Learning inside the classroom was truly an enriching experience, but the bonds made outside of it also hold a great impact in my life. It is the people I met in school who made Sciences Po a home to me and I know there will be more to come as we go about our futures.

WHAT IS NEXT FOR YOU?

Currently, I am doing an internship with the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in the South and Southeast Asia division of the Global Relations and Co-operation Directorate. Though I am miles away from my Filipino home, I am grateful to work on policy research and advice on OECD - Philippines cooperation as well as gender initiatives of our Southeast Asia Regional Programme. In this role, I am also able to combine my interest in diplomacy with my previous work experience in the foreign service.

Moving forward, I would like to keep working here in France or in Europe on projects close to my passions and/or closer to home, particularly gender-related ones or those that give greater visibility to the Philippines or Asia - Europe ties.

WHAT ONE-SENTENCE ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO THE NEXT COHORTS?

Put yourself out there and find your tribe – you will never run out of spaces to contribute to and you will always have something worth sharing and people who will listen!

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