An Investigation into Social and Cultural Barriers to Adoption of Hygiene Products by Menstruating Women in India and Australia
About this project
Menstruation is a common experience for women but also a taboo topic. Many myths about menstruation exist, and almost all of them cast women experiencing menstruation in a negative light. In India, women face significant barriers to participating in everyday and religious life when menstruating. Similarly, in Western countries, doubts about women’s capacity to function are common, exemplified by comments about presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s ability to function when menstruating, despite her advanced age suggesting she had undergone menopause.
Being able to approach, confront, and dispel myths about menstruation stands to further gender equality. Examining how women, men, employers, and the society at large think about and treat women throughout their menstrual cycle should illuminate barriers women face in personal and professional space. It could also provide insights into how such barriers could be overcome. Studying the issue across India (developing) and Australia (developed) could bring to light cultural differences in women’s experiences across cultures.
Our methodological approach will be both qualitative (including interviews and textual analysis) and quantitative (survey data). Study 1 will involve examining the content of advertising for menstrual products in India and Australia, Study 2 will involve examining the emotional and attitudinal appraisals of menstruation and menstrual products in India and Australia, and Study 3 will attempt to identify methods to discuss menstruation in a culturally appropriate way.
The UQIDAR candidate will finalize study design and collect data in India (Year1); collect data in Australia and start data analyses (Year 2). The candidate will then finalize data analysis and prepare the thesis (year 3). The student will present the research at academic conferences and work on journal article submissions (Year 4). The programme will run from 2023-27.
● Presentation of research outputs in academic conferences.
● Scientific articles in high impact journals in the field of marketing.
● Provide insights into a taboo topic that can inform public health efforts and policymakers.
Information for applicants
High levels of proficiency in English (reading and writing)
Knowledge in qualitative and quantitative research methods, prior research experience
Expected qualifications (Course/Degrees etc.)
Undergraduate or Masters degree in social science fields, completion of research methods courses
Additional information for applicants
note: i-students must have own scholarship to apply (CSIR, UCG-NET, etc)