Sarah Seddig

Sarah Seddig

PhD fellow

Sarah Seddig is an independent PhD fellow working at the intersection of womxn’s sexual and reproductive health, technological innovation, and female entrepreneurship in emerging markets and developing contexts. Interested in the distribution of power, she researches modes of empowerment through innovation and how gender intersects with disparities in health care and socio-economic inequalities.

She is affiliated to the research unit “Peace and Violence” at the Danish Institute of International Studies (DIIS).

Current research

“Bodies of Data. The Power of Female Technology in Sexual and Reproductive Health in Kenya’s ‘Silicon Savannah’”

Sarah Seddig’s PhD project explores the recent emergence of Female Technology (FemTech) designed to improve womxn's sexual and reproductive health (SRH) in developing contexts. It entails ethnographic fieldwork among female-led FemTech startups/enterprises and FemTech users in Kenya’s ‘Silicon Savannah’.

The research examines the potentials and consequences of smartphone apps, wearables, and diagnostic devices, which offer affordable and accessible solutions to make informed health choices while simultaneously expeditiously collect, monitor, and analyse sensitive personal data on various aspects of womxn’s bodies and behaviour. 

With the rapid rise of information and communication technology and ‘girl-centred’ development approaches in emerging markets, the project investigates how the relationship between technological innovation, modes of control and empowerment, and social governance resurface in a new gender-specific contexts.

By tracing the gender discourse around ‘girl-centred’ approaches, the research’s insights provide the basis for a discussion on how private companies and female entrepreneurship can drive ‘girl-centred’ development and health care provision through both empowerment and commercialisation incentives.

“Bodies of Data” is funded by the Independent Research Fund Danmark (non-university PhD grant 2020-2023). The project is hosted by the Danish Institute of International Studies and affiliated to the Department of Anthropology at the University of Copenhagen.

Primary fields of research

Topics: Sexual & Reproductive Health, Gender, Sexual & Gender Based Violence, Technology and Innovation, FemTech, International Development, Emerging Markets, Female Entrepreneurship, Empowerment, Surveillance

Geography: Sub-Sahara Africa, Uganda, Kenya

ID: 247677991