Home » SWEDISH UNIVERSITIES ENGAGED IN SOUTH ASIA RESEARCH 2015 » Linköping University, 2015 » Division of Gender and Medicine, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine; Faculty of Health Sciences, Linköping University, 2015

Division of Gender and Medicine, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine; Faculty of Health Sciences, Linköping University, 2015

Postal address: Genus och medicin, Hälsouniversitetet, Linköpings universitet, SE-581 83 Linköping, Sweden
Visiting address: Hälsans hus, entrance 14, 11th floor
Web page: http://www.hu.liu.se/ike/forskning/genus_medicin?l=en

Contact person: Associate Professor Katarina Swahnberg. From 1 January 2013, Dr. Swahnberg is mainly working at the School of Health and Caring Sciences, Linnaeus University in Kalmar (but also remains affiliated to Linköping). Go for the new department’s page.

The Division of Gender and Medicine has been working on research projects focusing on Women, Health and Subordination for many years. The aim of the research is to develop theories, methods and analytical instruments to study the correlation between subordination and women’s health.
Katarina Swahnberg defended her doctoral dissertation on ”The Prevalence of Gender Violence. Studies of four kinds of Abuse in five Nordic Countries”, at the Division of Women’s Health, Department of Molecular and Clinical Medicine, on 4 June 2003.

On 7 March 2012, Lars Eklund and Julia Velkova from SASNET visited Gender and Medicine. Read their report.

Educational collaboration with South Asia

In the Fall 2004 Professor Emerita Barbro Wijma and Associate Professor Katarina Swahnberg visited India with the purpose of establishing students and researcher exchange as well as research cooperation between the Division of Gender and Medicine and two institutions in North India; the Birla Institute of Technology & Science (BITS) at Pilani, Rajasthan; and a medical college in Kangra, Himachal Pradesh. Eventually they however decided to launch a collaboration programme with Kathmandu Medical College and Teaching Hospital (KMC) instead.
Since 2006 a Linnaeus Palme exchange programme grant has been given every year covering an exchange of minimum two teachers and two students in each direction. In March 2012, decisions were taken for the 2012–2014 Linnaeus Palme grants to Swedish universities. The Division of Gender and Medicine now received SEK 503 420.
The collaboration partner on the Nepalese side is Associate Professor Sunil Kumar Joshi at the Department of Community Medicine, KMC, Kathmandu.
More about South Asia related Linnaeus Palme exchange programme grants 2012–14

Three Linköping University medicine students who went to Kathmandu in 2008, Daniel LoordAnna-Lena Morén, and Isabelle Borssén, made a digital travel guide on Linköping University’s web site, as a service to other students. It contains practical tips as well as personal experiences from the stay in Nepal.

The collaboration still continues and has become very popular. During the spring 2013, two students from Linköping go to KMC on a Linnaeus Palme scholarship, whereas another six students go there on Minor Field Studies scholarship funding. The programme is currently evaluated by Ingrid Mignon. The evaluation will be pubished and serve as a guide how to initiate similar educational projects. 

Research collaboration with South Asia

In May 2006, Prof. Wijma and Dr. Swahnberg participated in an International Conference in Colombo, Sri Lanka on ”Effective Interventions for Domestic Violence against Women”. The conference was jointly organised by International Maternal and Child Health (IMCH), Department of Women’s and Children’s Health, Uppsala University, and the Dept. of Community Medicine, University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Sri Lanka, as part of an ongoing Sida/SAREC funded research project on ”Health and Social Care for the Socially Marginalized People”, led by Prof. Gunilla Lindmark from IMCH. During the conference, Wijma and Swahnberg presented results from their NorVold study (the Nordic Research Research Initiative on Violence against Women, now closed down). See the full conference programme (as a pdf-file). 
On Prof. Gunilla Lindmark’s initiative, a network grew out of this conference, entitled ”Violence Against Women – Global Network”. The network consists of researchers from the departments of Gender and Medicine (Linköping); IMCH (Uppsala); Epidemiology, Public Health and Community Medicine (Gothenburg); Public Health Science (Umeå); and Social Medicine and Global Health (Lund). The ambition is to create a globally oriented network as an interdisciplinary arena of gender, public health, epidemiology, and social sciences, with an overall objective is to generate knowledge for development support.The project has been financed by Sida.
Currently (2012), the network is coordinated by Professor Maria Emmelin at the Division of Social Medicine and Global Health, Lund University, whereas Humlan Svensson at Gender and Medicine, Linköping University, acts as Administrative coordinator. 

In December 2009, Katarina Swahnberg received a planning grant from the Swedish Research Links (Asian–Swedish research partnership programme) for a new collaboration project with Nepalese colleagues at the Kathmandu Medical College (KMC). See the full list of South Asia related projects given Swedish Research Links grants 2009
The project is supposed to be carried out in collaboration with Dr. Sunil Kumar Joshi at KMC, and the project is entitled ”Hidden Issue: Women and Girls Trafficking in Nepal”.
Abstract: Worldwide approximately four million women and girls are victims of international trafficking yearly. Though trafficking has become a global issue, results from actions so far carried out are not sustainable. Current information on trafficking is largely anecdotal. Nepal has as ”sending country” a central part in global trafficking. Surveys reveal that 70 out of 75 districts within Nepal are vulnerable to trafficking.
The main aim of our research is to contribute to the prevention of trafficking of women and girls and promote rehabilitative measures in order to attain a better society and healthier life of the victims.
The empirical study will be conducted in Nepal.
Mainly ethnographic method will be used to map the push and pull factors of trafficking which will help us understand the problem and identify the gaps in plans and policies and their enforcement.
The hidden issue of trafficking is not only relevant for Nepal; the problem exists also in Sweden. Mechanisms nurturing violence and trafficking can be expected to be universal. Therefore the trafficking field of research is very relevant also for the Swedish research partner.

SASNET‘s deputy director Lars Eklund met Katarina Swahnberg and Sunil Kumar Joshi during his visit to Nepal in November 2012. Read his report.

Planning meetings were held in Linköping in March 2010, and in April 2011 a Workshop on Women and Girls Trafficking from Nepal was held in Kathmandu for selected agencies working against trafficking at central and field level. Katarina Swahnberg and Barbro Wijma from Sweden attended the workshop. 
(Photo from the Kathmandu workshop, showing delegates from the Ministry of Home, and the Police Academy, and the National Women Commission with the Research team.)
Thanks to the planning grant it was also possible to form a research team that is well connected in the Nepali society. Applications for research funding was prepared in the fall 2011, with an ambition that the research project will take off.

Besides, Sunil Kumar Joshi and Katarina Swahnberg were granted a GEXcel research fellowship within the Theme “Sexual health, embodiment and empowerment. Bridging epistemological gaps.” by the Dept. of Gender Studies, Linköping University in 2010. During this period they wrote two book chapters about trafficking for a work in progress report. Both chapters will be transformed into scientific papers and submitted to a scientific journal.