Zakia Essanhaji is a sociologist interested in issues of intersectional feminism, politics of knowledge production and diversity and inclusion.
She obtained a master in Urban Studies and a research master in the Sociology of Culture, Media and the Arts from the Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR). Her master thesis focused on how diversity policies within universities reproduce the very inequalities they aim to tackle. The other thesis focused on how when diversity is taken up in an academic setting, it is passed around and displaced, while it nonetheless returns as a structural questioning of a female racialized Muslim researcher researching diversity.
During her masters Zakia worked as a tutor at the Sociology department of the Erasmus University, and has taught courses in the bachelor and master of Sociology. After finishing her masters, she worked as a junior researcher at the Sociology department of Erasmus University, at the Gender & Diversity Group at the Radboud University and as a junior policy officer at the Socio-Economic Council in the Netherlands. Her work focused respectively on the politics of knowledge production, diversity and inclusion in higher education and gender & cultural equality within businesses.
Now she works as a junior researcher in the Becoming a Minority (BaM-)project at the Sociology department of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, where she focuses on how covid-19 has led to an increased policing of people of colour and increased experiences of entitlement racism in daily encounters within their neighbourhoods.