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Accepted Paper:

"I could have actually died...": Pandemic Biopolitics Meets Reproductive Health Self-tracking in India  
Paro Mishra (Indraprastha Institute of Information Technology, Delhi)

Paper short abstract:

Using the idea of datafied body projects, this paper explores women’s self-management of reproductive health in India during covid through femtech mobile applications to examine the consequences of pandemic biopolitics, immobility and digital self-tracking on their reproductive journeys.

Paper long abstract:

This paper examines the personal informatic practice of India women using self-tracking femtech to manage their sexual and reproductive health during covid and beyond. The Indian state mandated technologies of pandemic control like lockdown, quarantine, isolation and social distancing, adopted in the name of ‘de-emergence of disease’, severely restricted women’s access to healthcare. This was coupled with a significant increase in adoption of telemedicine, remote healthcare and app-based health monitoring during that time. Based on data collected from a large survey and qualitative interviews conducted with women using femtech applications, this paper examines femtech apps as ‘datafied body projects’. It examines how Indian women used mobile phone applications to manage their sexual and reproductive health and what are the consequences of this datafication on their reproductive body. It shows that the pandemic biopolitics and management of population intersected in complex ways with immobility, remote healthcare, digital self-tracking and self-management of health to have varied consequences- ranging from beneficial to risky- on women’s reproductive journeys and impacted their understanding of the reproductive body.

Panel P024
Reproductive Hopes, Travels and Self-management of Care: Seeking Reproductive and Sexual Healthcare across Time and Space
  Session 1 Thursday 28 July, 2022, -