Berner Humangeographisches Kolloquium

28. September 2021

Dr. Armita Pande: Rand and the Reproductive Body: South African egg providers and the Global fertility Industry

I discuss cross-border egg provision by young (white) South African women as a form of traveling biolabor that is critically about embodiment, but also about their aspirations for mobility and an escape from the margins. This frame challenges the binary frames of altruism/commodification, choice/coercion, and instead highlights the desires of egg providers, fundamental to the creation and maintenance of the global fertility market. When biolabor crosses borders as traveling biolabor, the analysis can focus on the specificities of marginality and inequities embedded within such reproductive mobility. Traveling or mobility is often a privileged decision and connotes freedom and cultural capital. Yet, when applied to young white (Afrikaner) egg providers in post-Apartheid South Africa, this traveling biolabor relies on a particular kind of biopolitics wherein the reproductive potential of ova/egg is fundamental in facilitating these women’s cross-border mobility from the margins.