– Being promoted to professor gives me and my colleagues, who are interested in all individuals having access to sexual and reproductive health, greater opportunities to continue that work. At a time when abortion rights are no longer a matter of course in one of the world's largest democracies, it is a statement that Dalarna University appoints a professorship for sexual and reproductive health, says Kerstin Erlandsson.
Erlandsson started her employment at Dalarna University in 2014 as a coordinator for the subject of sexual reproductive and perinatal health, director for the programme in Midwifery and a project in Somaliland. Since 2016, she has worked within an UN-partnership to develop the midwifery profession in Bangladesh. Before coming to Dalarna, Erlandsson worked as a researcher and associate professor at Mälardalen University, and with women's and children's rights to life and health in Somalia and Nepal.
What motivates you as a researcher?
– The curiosity and joy of integrating research and teaching and disseminating knowledge about internationalisation, gender equality and sustainability. I am driven by a belief in sustainable societies, and that all individuals are fundamentally equal, with equal rights and value. It may seem obvious, but it is far from obvious. What is happening in the United States now can be a wake-up call, that we also in Sweden need to protect what we have achieved up until today.
What research are you focusing on?
– I aim to benefit the quality of teaching in the Midwifery programme, the global master's in sexual, reproductive, and perinatal health, and for other programmes at the university. We would also like to develop a centre for international research with a common research plan and continue the path already set.
How do students benefit from your research?
– My colleagues and I share our research findings as we teach. It's about pregnancy, childbirth, postpartum care, newborn care, gender, LBTQ perspective, same-sex parenting, contraception, abortion care, fear of childbirth, fetal movements, health and migration, parental support, fetal death, domestic violence, and the profession and health system. We anchor the latest research results among students in theoretical subjects and in placements, and work to ensure that evidence-based clinical research in the subject of sexual reproductive and perinatal health in Sweden and globally is created and disseminated.