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Ina Goel



Room G14
Department of Geography,
University College London,
Pearson Building
Gower Street,

Tel: +44(0)7709045138


Gender and Sexuality Studies MPhil/PhD student, supervised by:

Ann Varley (Geography)

Richard Mole (SSEES)

Alternative webpage: UCL Gender and Sexuality Studies




Photo Courtesy AP/Altaf Qadri

PhD Title (working): Spaces of Exclusion or Sites of Resistance? Hijra communities in Delhi

The PhD is supported by a scholarship from the Inlaks Shivdasani foundation


Academic Qualifications:

2014 - Present, University College London

MPhil/PhD Gender and Sexuality Studies

Title (working): Spaces of Exclusion or Sites of Resistance? Hijra communities in New Delhi

2010 - 2012, Jawaharlal Nehru University

M.Phil Social Medicine and Community Health

Title - Gendered Identities: An Enquiry into the Medicalisation of Sexuality of the Hijra Community in Delhi

2008 - 2010, University of Delhi

M.A Social Work

2005 - 2008, University of Delhi

B.A (Hons.) Journalism



November 2016 - August 2017, Office of the Vice-Provost (Research), University College London

UCL India Voices, Research Assistant

August - October 2016, UCL Bernard Johnson House


April 2015 - July 2016, UCL Ifor Evans Hall


September - November 2015, UCLU Women's Network

Zero Tolerance Student Trainer

January 2014 - April 2014, Makhanlal Chaturvedi National University of Journalism and Communication

Assistant Professor (Guest Faculty) M.Sc (Media Research)

2013 - 2014, Jawaharlal Nehru University

Post Graduate Teaching Assistant (Social Medicine and Community Health)

2012 - 2013,

Correspondent and Newsreader (part-time), All India Radio
Intern, Al Jazeera English

    2010 - 2012, Consultant (Research and Training):

    Family Health International
    Delhi State AIDS Control Society
    Plan International
    Social and Development Research and Action Group
    Indian Institute of Mass Communication
    State Training and Resource Centre
    Delhi University Community Radio

    2009 - 2010, UNICEF

    Knowledge community on children in India (KCCI) Summer Internship

    2008-2009, Pravah

    Students’ Mobilisation Initiative for Learning through Exposure (SMILE) Volunteer

    2006-2008, Media Internship:

    TV Today Network
    92.7 Big FM
    The Hindu
    The Statesman



      • Recipient of Jackson Lewis Scholarship (2015) (2016).
      • Recipient of scholarship from Inlaks Shivdasani Foundation supporting postgraduate research (2014).
      • Recipient of German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) scholarship at the Department of Epidemiology & International Public Health as part of program ‘A New Passage to India’ at Bielefeld University, Germany (November 2012-January 2013)
      • Recipient of the SPIC MACAY Gurukul scholarship for spending summers in the Monastery of His Holiness The Dalai Lama to gain insight into Buddhist philosophy and the innovative ways in which a community in exile copes with displacement in Dharamsala, Himachal Pradesh, India (June-July 2012)
      • Recipient of the Educational scholarship in Journalism awarded by Rotary News Trust through Rotary International District 3010 (2007)


      Professional and other bodies:

      • 2016, Co-founder (with Laura Marshall), UCL Gender Diversity Forum
      • 2014-2015, Member, UCL Finance and Services Committee
      • 2014-2015, Member, Union Council, University College London Union (UCLU); Faculty Representative (Postgraduate Research) Arts and Humanities
      • 2014-2016, Postgraduate Fellow Royal Geographical Society (with the Institute of British Geographers)
      • 2012-Present, Life member National Association of Professional Social Workers in India (NAPSWI)
      • 2012-2013, Election Commissioner Jawaharlal Nehru University Students’ Union (JNUSU)
      • 2011-Present, Life member Indian Association For Social Sciences and Health (IASSH)
      • 2009-2010, Founder and Editor, The DSW Post, Department of Social Work, University of Delhi
      • 2008-2009, Representative Gender Sensitising Committee Against Sexual Harassment (GSCASH), Department of Social Work, University of Delhi
      • 2007-2008, Member Cultural Council, Maharaja Agrasen College, University of Delhi



      • Goel, Ina (2017): पीरियड का चिट्ठा ‘कुछ आप बीती कुछ जग बीती' (Menstruation Tales), Feminism in India. Access here.
    • Goel, Ina (2017): Beyond Medicine: Difficult Dialogues, UCL Blog. Access here.
    • Goel, Ina (2017): Roadblocking Universal Health Coverage, Difficult Dialogues: Is India's health a grand challenge? International Centre Goa, 10-12 February 2017, UCL (conference proceedings), pp 17-18. Access here.
    • Goel, Ina (2017): Hijra samuday ka rahasya lok (The secret world of hijra communities), Gorakhpur Newsline. Access here
    • Goel, Ina (2016): The hijra communities of Delhi, Sexualities, Vol. 19, No. 5-6, pp 535-546. Access here.
    • Goel, Ina (2015): The construction of the beauty myth, Genderal Studies, UCLU Women's Network. Access here
    • Goel, Ina (2015): Menstrual chronicles from Delhi, The Fem Literary Magazine. Access here
    • Goel, Ina (2014): Demystifying hijras: One of India’s most misunderstood communities, The Good Men Project. Access here
    • Goel, Ina (2014): Beyond the gender binary, Economic and Political Weekly, Vol. XLIX, No. 15, pp 77-78. Access here.
    • Goel, Ina (2013): The lives of Intersexed and transgender People: Indo-German perspectives, Global Health, Vol. 2, Department of Epidemiology and International Health, University of Bielefeld, Germany. Access here.
    • Goel, Ina (2013), Gendered Complexities: A study of social and cultural exclusion among hijras in Delhi. In, Somayajulu U, Siva Raju S, Prakasam CP (eds.) Social Inclusion and Women Health: Perspectives and Issues, Women Press. pp. 51-69, Delhi. Access here.
    • Goel, Ina and Nayar, K.R (2012), Trajectories of the transgender: The need to move from sex to sexuality, Economic and Political Weekly, Vol. XLVII, No. 47-48. Access here.



      • Speaker on 'Paradoxes of being Hijra in India' at UCL India Voices Festival, University College London, 21 June 2017.
      • Paper 'Transing-normativities: understanding hijra communes as queer homes' presented at an inter-disciplinary workshop entitled Cultures of Difference: The Everyday Makings of Heteronormativity at Pembroke college, University of Cambridge, 10-11 June 2017.
    • Panelist for the session 'How can gender affect your health and healthcare?' at Difficult Dialogues 2017: Is India's health a grand challenge?organised by UCL in collaboration with Goa International Centre, 10-12 February 2017.
    • Paper 'Are Hijras Queer?' presented at the Queer Asia Conference organised by School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), London on 10 June 2016.
    • Paper ‘The Secret Language of the Hijra community in India and Pakistan’ presented at the International Mother Language Day Symposium 2014 organised by the Centre for Linguistics, Jawaharlal Nehru University on 21st February  2014.
    • Paper Presenter at ‘I’Preneur 2014’ on 'The Hijra Project' organised by the Centre for Social Entrepreneurship (CSE), Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Mumbai on  25 January 2014
    • Public Lecture on ‘Why Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) Must Go’ organised by the Jawaharlal Nehru Students’ Union (JNUSU) at Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi on 23 December 2013
    • Speaker at the Interactive Session on ‘Educational Barriers for Trans* and Hijra Communities’ in collaboration with University of Delhi’s ‘Vistaar’ project aimed at vulnerable communities at Department of Adult Education, Delhi University, on 4 November 2013.
    • Paper 'Critical Methodologies: Establishing ‘code of ethics’ in research on Sex and Sexuality' presented at the ‘National Convention on Ethics in Research On Human Subjects: Problems of Implementing International Norms and Guidelines in Indian Context’, organised by Institutional Ethics Review Board of Jawaharlal Nehru University held at Convention Centre, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi, 30th- 31st July 2013
    • Paper 'Negotiating Identities and Sexualities: A Case from the Indian Intersexed and Transgender (Hijra) Community' presented at the ‘Indian Social Work Congress’ held at Convention Centre, University of Delhi, 23- 25 February 2013.
    • Paper on 'Indian Intersexed and Transgender Community' in the lecture series entitled ‘Days of Action against Sexism and Homophobia’ at the University of Bielefeld, Germany, 9th – 19th November 2012.
    • Paper 'Birth of a Hijra as a Social Body: Gender Questions' presented at the ‘International Conference on Gender Relations in Developing Societies: A 21st Century Perspective’ held in Maharaja Agrasen College, University of Delhi, 30th-31st October 2012.
    • Speaker at the ‘World Debate Forum-India’, for presentation titled 'Delhi University Community Radio Science Debates -To Be or Not to Be, a debater in a non-debating world', in the session ‘Mobilising Debaters for Social Action’, Vasant Valley School and International Debate Education Association (IDEA), Delhi,13th-15th April 2012. Additionally, this talk was featured at Firstpost.
    • Nominated for the ‘Youth Best Paper Award’ in the Ninth conference of ‘Indian Association For Social Sciences and Health (IASSH)’ held at Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Mumbai for the paper 'Gendered Complexities: A study on the Social and Cultural Exclusion of the Hijra Community in Delhi', 24-26 November  2011.


    • Convenor for panel on 'Longing for Belonging (Kinship/Communities)' at Queer Asia conference organised by School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), London on 16 June 2017.
    • Moderator for talk series entitled ‘Diaspora: A Tibetan Perspective in conversation with Ms. Ogyen Palmo- First Tibetan woman Charted Accountant in India', organised by the Foundation for Universal Responsibility of His Holiness the Dalai Lama (FURHHLD) at India International Centre on October 27, 2013
    • Moderator for talk series entitled ‘Diaspora: A Tibetan Perspective’ on China’s grassland policies and its impact on Tibet', organised by the Foundation for Universal Responsibility of His Holiness the Dalai Lama (FURHHLD) at India International Centre on September 15, 2013

      For further information and abstracts:



      Impact and other research

      The Hijra Project

      'The Hijra Project' aims to engage people with my research via social media. This forum helps to spread awareness about the often stigmatised hijra communities in India.

      For further information:


      Public engagement via independent journalism

      I contributed regular columns about gender, discrimination, culture and public health at an online news website called NewsYaps. Many of my reports have been republished by The Good Men Project, Tibet Today and International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA) - Asia.

      Voluntarily, I have also engaged with alternative media encouraging participatory public involvement and social activism. Few of my shows include:

    • Radio Discussion in Hindi, Conversation with the female sex workers on GB Road - a red light area in central Delhi and truckers with Delhi University Community Radio (DUCR 90.4Mhz)
    • 3-episode radio Documentary series in English, Hindi and Tibetan, My Experiences in Little Tibet which explored the Tibetan community-in-exile in Dharamsala, Himachal Pradesh with Tashi Delek Radio Station 90.4 Mhz
    • Radio feature in Hindi, The Health Needs of 3-village districts in Rudraprayag, Uttrakhand with Mandakini ki Awaaz Radio 90.4 Mhz
    • Radio feature in English, Indo-German Public Health Collaborations in Bielefeld, Germany with Hertz 87.9 Campus Radio
    • Citizen Journalist reporting security loopholes at the Nizamuddin Dargah in New Delhi, with CNN-IBN

      Imparting training on sex education to adolescent girls in urban slums, Delhi

      Between 2010 to 2013, while working as a consultant for Plan International funded NGOs, I designed the curriculum framework and developed training modules on reproductive and sexual health, family health education, life skills, and child protection. I would facilitate a two-to-three day long workshop with their support for adolescent girls from poor socio-economic backgrounds living in urban slums and rehabilitation colonies in Delhi. In these workshops, I used innovative pedagogies to teach about sensitive and controversial issues including good touch and back touch, positive and negative body images and menstruation.

      For the purpose of further dissemination, I shared some taboos and myths associated with menstruation learnt from these workshops on Menstrupedia.


      Developing learning material for female sex workers

      In the year 2009-2010, I was placed as a social work trainee as a part of concurrent fieldwork with the Pehchan Project for street based sex workers in North Delhi. I later got an opportunity to work with the State Training and Resource Centre (STRC) where I was fortunate to be a part of a project that was developing storyline for Behaviour Change Communications (BCC) learning materials and modules for peer educators. I further contributed by assisting in developing manuals and other learning materials for capacity building of NGO partners of Delhi State AIDS Control Society (DSACS) in enhancing knowledge and skills of communities with 'high risk' behaviour.