Freitag, 08. April 2016, 11:45 - 13:15 iCal

Surrogacy in India – in whose interest?

At whose expense?

IPW Lecture by Christa Wichterich (WIDE+)

Kapelle im Albert Schweitzer Haus
Schwarzspanierstraße 13, 1090 Wien


India has become a hub in the transnational reconfiguration of reproduction. The Indian surrogate mother acts at the intersection of the medical-industrial complex, bio politics, and the hegemonic reproductive regime in Indian society. Key markers of these three power regimes are the categories of gender, class and/or caste, race and North/South. The biocapitalist economy expands market principles into areas that have been outside of the market before, actually biological reproduction and life production. Poor, subaltern and Muslim women in India serve the reproduction of mostly white, middle class couples from the Global North and their “imperialist” way of living. This leads to growing inequalities among women, and the stratification of reproduction. The article attempts to acknowledge the surrogate mother’s agency and subjectivities by analysing it as waged labour in a highly alienated, exploitative and precarious production process. Being highly contested, the hindu-nationalist government in India plans to restrict it to Indian citizens as means to overcome infertility.


Institut für Politikwissenschaft


Johannes Starkbaum
Universität Wien
Institut für Politikwissenschaft der Universität Wien
+ 43 1 4277