Drawing from six research undertakings variously connected with women’s health in a range of Indian contexts, we highlight how “women’s health” is inextricably linked with extrinsic factors that are imperative to address. We thus orient ourselves towards the broadened focus of “women’s wellbeing,” as outlined by Martha Nussbaum’s central human capabilities. Our research allows us to discuss the importance of taking a long, holistic, and intersectional view to women’s wellbeing. Consolidating lessons learned across studies, we emphasize the potential of framing challenges around women’s wellbeing as learning problems, rather than problems of information access alone. Leveraging this perspective, we propose the use of design-based implementation research as a potential approach in identified learning ecologies, given its emphasis on long-term engagement with multiple stakeholders in the learning process. We conclude by arguing that key contextual characteristics may translate to other cultures and geographies as well, and invite our audience to partner with the Gender, Health, and Wellbeing collective, in this fight for bread, and “fight for roses, too.”
*Oppenheim, James. “Bread and Roses.” December 1911. American Magazine.
Neha Kumar is an assistant professor at Georgia Tech where she conducts research at the intersection of human-centered computing and global development, supported by the TanDEM lab of fantastic students. After getting her PhD from UC Berkeley in 2013 where she was advised by UW-alum Tapan Parikh, she spent an excellent and memorable year as a postdoctoral researcher at UW CSE, being mentored by the very awesome Richard Anderson, Gaetano Borriello, and Beth Kolko. The rich, open, and deeply collaborative research environment at UW gave her the courage and drive to take on the academic life for real. The work she did with Projecting Health, a maternal health intervention that was a collaboration between UW and PATH, brought her to first conduct research on gender and engage feminist thought, setting the foundation for most of her present research pursuits. When she’s not busy doing this research and being grateful to UW for all of the above, she volunteers for the ACM as Chair of the Future of Computing Academy and SIGCHI Vice-President at Large.