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School of Social and Political Science: Graduate school


Janet Perkins

Janet Perkins
Janet Perkins
Social Anthropology School of Social and Political Science University of Edinburgh
Edinburgh UK EH8 9LD
Research Interests
Policy construction, Human rights, Reproductive Maternal Newborn Child and Adolescent Health, International development, Medical Anthropology, Bangladesh, Gender and Development, organizations and institutions, Reproductive rights, Reproductive Health, Childbearing, Global Health Policy

PhD Title

Human rights-based approaches to maternal health in Bangladesh: Social reconstructions and consequences

Research synopsis

The reproductive lives and bodies of women inhabiting the global South have long figured on the agendas of international development and global health, taking on fluctuating logics and models within policy. Maternal health has risen to the forefront of this agenda over the recent years, with human rights-based discourses, defining preventable maternal mortality and morbidity as resulting primarily due to violations of women’s basic human rights and requiring human rights-based approaches to be appropriately remedied, coming to predominate over other discourses. In this research project, I am investigating how these human rights constructs reshape and are reshaped by social, political and cultural life in Bangladesh This ethnographic research project is multi-method and multi-sited, involving data collection at the global level as well as national, district, upazila (subdistrict) levels and in communities in Bangladesh, tracing the global policies framing maternal health as a human rights issue as they circulate through and take on social life in and between these various spaces.


Dr Jeevan Sharma

Dr Lucy Lowe

Publications (Selected)

Conference Presentations (Selected)

  • Advancing person-centered maternal and newborn health care through birth preparedness and complication readiness in Netrokona, Bangladesh.10th Geneva Conference on Person-centered Medicine, Geneva, Switzerland; May 7-10, 2017.

  • Challenges and solutions in collaboration between non-governmental implementing organizations and local research institutions in developing countries. 9th European Congress for Tropical Medicine and International Health. Basel, Switzerland; Sept, 2015.  

  • Integrating community participation in maternal and newborn health services in Burkina Faso. Geneva Health Forum; Global Health: Interconnected Challenges, Integrated Solutions; April 2014.

  • Complexities of top-down and bottom-up partnership building in Bangladesh and Burkina Faso. Annual seminar of Be-Cause Health and Medicus Mundi International: Health-y Answers to Comple#ity: Are we able to move beyond the control panel?  Brussels, Belgium, Nov. 2013.

  • A role for traditional birth attendants in promoting person-centered care for women in Netrokona district, Bangladesh. 5th Geneva Conference on Person-centered Medicine, Geneva, Switzerland; April 2012

  • Advancing women's right to health by increasing access the maternal health services in Tenkodogo, Burkina Faso. American Public Health Association 139th Annual Meeting and Exposition, Washington D.C.; Oct.-Nov. 2011.