Institute for International
Cooperation and Development Studies

Defence of Michela Accerenzi's thesis "Body politics, menstruation and development cooperation"

Date: 2023 June 20

On 28 April, the thesis of doctoral student Michela Accerenzi, entitled "Body politics, menstruation and development cooperation. A case study in Santa Rosa de Copán, Honduras". 

Her directors were Mari Luz Esteban Galarza, Mertxe Larrañaga Sarriegi and Irantzu Mendia Azkue. Accerenzi completed the PhD Programme "Development Studies" and her thesis is attached to the Department of Philosophy of Values and Social Anthropology of the UPV/EHU. The members of the examining board were: Cristina Larrea Killinger (from the University of Barcelona), Mari Luz de la Cal (from the UPV/EHU) and Mª Luz Ortega Carpio (from Loyola University).The grade obtained by Accerenzi was an Outstanding Cum Laude Mention with the option of an Extraordinary Prize.


An example of how development cooperation interventions have cast a shadow over the body is the case of menstruation. In recent years, the first attempts have been made to include the issue in interventions in Asia and Africa, but these have focused on menstrual hygiene management in the context of water and sanitation programmes to reduce girls' absenteeism from school. Following the main message from Western countries, this sector has reproduced a medicalised view of the female body based on a representation of girls as precarious, reinforcing the idea of the female body as something dirty and to be managed in private space. After conducting a decolonial feminist analysis of these interventions, Accerenzi introduces a case study carried out in Santa Rosa de Copán, Honduras.

See the thesis section of this website.