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Women’s movements and gestational surrogacy: engaging, debating and policy making

Marie Curie Individual Global Fellowship

Daniela Bandelli
Supervisor at the beneficiary institution LUMSA University
Prof. Consuelo Corradi
Supervisor at the partner organization University of Texas
Prof. Sharmila Rudrappa
Starting date
23 April 2018
Duration of the project
3 years

Project contents
Gestational surrogacy (GS) is transnational practice of assisted reproduction increasingly undergone by European citizens in Member States and Third Countries. Women’s Movements (WMs), primary actors in  policies on human reproduction, understand GS either as a form of commodification of women and children, or as an empowering opportunity for women in poor countries. WMs are forging alliances with other stakeholders (LGBTQI, pro-life, and private actors) to influence decision makers to abolish or to regulate GS. WoMoGeS analyzes the ‘politics of signification’ on GS of WMs in 2 developed countries, US, and Italy, and 2 developing countries, India and Mexico, to reveal variety of diagnostic, prognostic and motivational frames, their policy demands and strategic alliances across different social contexts, and the interplay between discourses and policy making at country-level and transnationally. By carrying out a comparison of 4 context-specific case-studies and engaging WMs and GS stakeholders, this project aims to hinder the risk that GS activism reproduces the same polarizing dynamics as in the debate on prostitution, and the risk that WMs’ perspectives in developing countries, main providers of surrogate mothers, are silenced by more visible WMs in developed countries. WoMoGeS aims to promote dialogue between WMs and GS stakeholders, catalyze European policy making on GS that considers diversity of thought, and to propose mature reflections on assisted reproduction based on scientific information.

Daniela Bandelli is a sociologist interested in media and social movements' discourses on women's issues, in particular domestic violence and assisted reproduction. I earned my PhD at the University of Queensland (Australia) in 2016 with a thesis on the Italian media and political debate on femicide. I currenty teach Sociology and Women's Cultures in Global Society at the LUMSA Department of Human Sciences.
Since my earlier Bachelor's Degree of Public Relations (University of Udine), and then Master's Degrees of International Development (Università La Sapienza) and Communication for Social Change (University of Queensland), as well as throughout my journalistic activities, I have focused on the role of communication in bringing voices at the margins, and particularly women's issues, into the public debate. I conducted qualitative research in India (Women in Community Radio) and in Kenya (Women in the Media) and worked as freelance journalist and press officer focused on social development.