Mounia
El Kotni

Project: Bas Les Pailles

Mounia El Kotni is a French-Moroccan cultural and medical anthropologist. She holds a PhD from the State University of New York at Albany (2016) and a Masters degree from the EHESS Paris (2010). Her research interests include reproductive health, environmental health and gender discrimination. She has collaborated on several research projects on gender, human rights and policy evaluation in France, the United States, Mexico, and Guatemala. She has worked in collaboration with grassroots organizations and developed participatory-action-research projects. Mounia is also an international consultant and has led training on gender equality for international organisations, non-governmental organisations and the social business sector.

Through her work as an anthropologist, Mounia has developed a strong interest in environmental contamination and the desire to act for a sustainable future. In 2017, she co-founded the French organisation ‘Bas Les Pailles’ to raise awareness of the pollution generated by single-use plastic. Mounia has been showcased on numerous media outlets for Bas Les Pailles’ work, specifically about the organisation’s business support, public education and policy advising.

MOTIVATION FOR AND COMMITMENT TO CREATING A BETTER AND MORE SUSTAINABLE PLANET  

I have a strong sense of empathy, an emotion which is at the centre of anthropological training. My commitment to a sustainable future is a continuity of my research towards social justice and reproductive justice. As an anthropologist, my training has taught me to research, analyse and learn from the unity and the diversity of both human and nonhuman cultures. I grew up in Morocco and travelled in many countries. Women are among the world's poorest and are disproportionately impacted by environmental contamination. It is now obvious to me that social justice cannot be achieved without environmental justice.