/ Research, People

Ambizione Grant Awarded to Lesley Braun

Foto by Lesley Braun

Foto by Lesley Braun

Lesley Braun has been awarded with the Ambizione Grant of the Swiss National Foundation for the project "The Travail and Travels of Congolese Transnational Trader Women".


Congo’s transnational trader women called femmes commerçantes, embark on international buying expeditions to purchase wholesale goods for local resale. Strengthened governmental relations between the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and China have contributed to the increased mobility between the two countries. Congo’s trader women are at the forefront of creating new social classes, as well as household structures.

This project examines how Congolese women navigate an economic landscape that is premised on social networks and transnational exchanges. It explores how global economic change impacts gender dynamics in the DRC. The central theme within this research investigates the relationship between women's work within a labour system defined by its internal corruption, mobility, and morality in an African context where women are participants in the transformation of social class structures.