Journal of International Women’s Studies Special Issue: Reproductive Justice across Disciplines and Demographics

deadline for submissions: 
December 31, 2023
full name / name of organization: 
Journal of International Women’s Studies

Reproductive Justice across Disciplines and Demographics


Issues of procreation are the most troubling, disconcerting, confounding, divisive--and (therefore) interesting ones confronting feminism.

                                                                                    Barbara Katz Rothman, 1997


In recent years, the idea of reproductive justice has evolved into a powerful and comprehensive framework that addresses the long-standing debate of reproductive rights vis-a-vis its pro-choice vs. pro-life policies. Loretta J. Ross and Rickie Solinger contend that this framework extends beyond addressing this dichotomous debate to provide a unique and holistic understanding of reproductive autonomy by emphasizing three central principles:  the right to/ not to have a child in addition to the right to parent children in secure and nurturing circumstances (2017: 9). A holistic approach to reproductive justice requires focused attention to its historical context, comprehending how societal norms, laws, and technological advancements have shaped the current understanding of reproduction (Ross and Solinger, 2017: 11). At the heart of this discourse lies the commodification of pregnancy and the exploitation of women as ‘wombs for hire’ (Kashyap and Tripathi, 2022: 384). The emergence of advancing reproductive technologies (ART, for instance) also challenges traditional notions of motherhood and family, raising debates about biology and family structures. While technological progress offers enhanced possibilities, it becomes an ancillary tool to socially, medically, and legally regulate women’s bodies and autonomy. A comprehensive understanding of reproductive justice also necessitates exploring the gendered and unequal burden imposed upon women concerning sterilization and contraceptive responsibility. In this context, a nuanced understanding of the intricate dynamics surrounding abortion rights is paramount. The ongoing debates surrounding women’s right to choose or not to choose an abortion pose significant questions concerning female autonomy and agency over their body and reproductive decisions. The repercussions of these inequalities extend beyond procreation, encompassing critical aspects of the reproductive journey such as menstruation and menopause.

            Through this special issue, we aim to comprehensively address the various intricate dimensions of reproductive justice across disciplines and demographics, illuminating critical issues that shape reproductive autonomy and access to justice. From the ethical implications of assisted reproductive technologies (ART) and surrogacy to the dimensions of motherhood, abortion, menstruation, and menopause, this special issue endeavors to tease out the nuances that critically shape reproductive autonomy and human rights in our contemporary world. 


We welcome submissions in the form of scholarly articles, short essays, commentaries, feminist reflections, book and film reviews (please see the JIWS’ Policies and Submissions page for details on these genres here: that address the following topics with a specific focus on the discourses surrounding contraception, sterilization, infertility, ART and surrogacy, motherhood, abortion, pregnancy – including pregnancy loss – childbirth, postpartum, parenting, menstruation, and menopause.  Submissions not directly under the purview of these categories but still relevant to the dialogue of Reproductive justice are also welcome.


Paper Guidelines:

Submissions to the Special Issue are governed by the guidelines of the JIWS, which can be found at:

“Your article and all information should be in Times New Roman 12 font, single-spaced; left/right-justified; bold topic headings with no space between heading and paragraph including title, abstract, and author's name/s; two spaces between the author’s name/s and abstract. italicized subheadings (no numbers). Keywords should be italicized with the three (or more) key phrases, or words themselves should not be in italics. Follow APA or MLA citation styles or a style appropriate to your discipline; references/bibliographies, which should be single-spaced. The document should be carefully proofread for English grammar, punctuation, and spelling. Articles that do NOT conform to submission guidelines will be automatically rejected. Authors should consult recent editions for guidelines and send inquiries to the editor. Please note: this does not refer to your final draft but to the final version of your article once it is revised and resubmitted. Improperly formatted articles will be returned to the authors and must be received by the publication date to be included in the designated issue.”


  1. Full-length articles should be between 7000 and 9000 words.
  2. Book and film reviews should be between 1000 and 2500 words.
  3. Short essays, commentaries, and feminist reflections should be between 2500 and 4000 words.

Submission and Important Dates:

  1. Submission of full-length manuscript: 31st December 2023
  2. Decision on submissions: 31st March 2024
  3. Revisions, if any: 15th May 2024
  4. We anticipate the publication date to be June/July 2024
  5. All submissions should be emailed to both the editors, Dr. Priyanka Tripathi and Dr. Laura Lazzari
  6. Authors should specifically mention the manuscript category (Articles, Book/Film Reviews, Short Essays, Commentaries, Feminist Reflections) in the email subject line.

Special Issue Editors:


Dr. Priyanka Tripathi is an Associate Professor at the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology Patna (India). She is also the Co-Executive Editor of the Journal of International Women’s Studies (published by Bridgewater State University, USA). She was a Visiting Research Fellow (2022-23), at IASH, the University of Edinburgh for her project titled, “Optimizing Caste Intersectionality: A Decolonial Reading of Gender-based Violence in Select Subaltern Fiction in India”. Her forthcoming monograph with Bloomsbury is titled The Gendered War: Evaluating Feminist Ethnographic Narratives of the 1971 War of Bangladesh ( She works in the areas of Gender Studies and South Asian Fiction. Her ORCIDiD is

Dr. Laura Lazzari is a researcher in Motherhood Studies at the Sasso Corbaro Foundation for the Medical Humanities (CH) and Professorial Lecturer at George Washington University (USA). She holds a PhD from the University of Lausanne, an MA from the University of Oxford, and was the 2015-2016 recipient of the AAUW International Postdoctoral Fellowship at Georgetown University. Her current research revolves around representations of pregnancy, birth, and postpartum in contemporary literature. Among her publications are a monograph on Lucrezia Marinella (Insula, 2010) a special volume on To Be or Not to Be a Mother: Choice, Refusal, Reluctance and Conflict. Motherhood and Female Identity in Italian Literature and Culture (“intervalla”, 1, 2016), Motherhood and Trauma in Contemporary Literature and Culture (Palgrave Macmillan, 2021), and The Palgrave Handbook of Reproductive Justice and Literature (2022).


  1. J. Ross, L., and Solinger, R. (2017). Reproductive Justice: An Introduction. California: University of California Press.
  2. Kashyap, S., and Tripathi, P. (2022). Beyond baby-making: review of the film Mimi (2021). Media Asia, 49(4), 383-386.
  3. Katz-Rothman, B. (1997). Review. Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society, 22, 1052-1056.