Menstrual technologies, gender and development

Official project title:          Menstrual technologies, gender and development
Project leader:                   Jacqueline Gaybor Tobar, PhD Researcher
Duration:                           2015 - 2019

This PhD research focuses on analyzing technology as a powerful force that disseminates narratives, discourses and builds realities. It looks at technology as a socially constructed force with political, economic and social intentions capable to influence gender dynamics. In this line, the social and the technical spheres are examined as two mutually shaping forces and as such, technology is seen as a source and consequence of the formation of gender identities. Jacqueline Gaybor is executing this project at the ISS.

Social Construction of Technology
Building on the Social Construction of Technology theoretical approach and following insights from the Feminist Technology Studies, this research argues that not only traditional producers of technology can act as agents of technological innovation. Technology can be innovated from the bottom of the pyramid to the top. Users of the technology, particularly women portraying critical discourses, collectively engage with the aim to develop sustainable technologies, aimed to break taboos and bring a different understanding of women’s body.

Technology Discourse
Finally, Post-structuralist social theory is central to this research as it helps analyzing the underlying discourses and narratives behind a particular technology that has been developed.  The research emphasizes that any material reality—technology in this case—is never knowable without human intervention and interpretation as all knowledge is mediated by discourses.

Core themes:
Science and technology studies, gender and technology, post-structuralism, feminist post-structuralism, discourse analysis, post-development and other knowledge.

Information about the researcher:
Jacqueline Gaybor is a PhD candidate at the International Institute of Social Studies (ISS) -Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR). She obtained her Bachelor degree in Law from San Francisco University (2011) and has a MA in Development Studies at the International Institute of Social Studies-EUR (2013) with focus on human rights, gender and conflict studies.