Encore What Does it Mean to be Childless in a Child-Centered Society?

August 30, 2022
Hosted by Christine Erickson

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Guest Information

Episode Description

In our premiere episode, we will discuss the experience of being involuntarily childless in a pronatalist world, through personal experiences, and the need for change. Our guest for this episode is Hilary Fennell. Hilary is an award-winning programme maker and journalist with extensive experience of working in television and radio as a series producer and director. In her ground-breaking radio documentary, Childless, Hilary Fennell explores the realities and dynamics of being involuntarily childless in a child-centered society. Her voice as a childless not by choice woman, is interwoven with the stories of six other women. Each of the women speak to their diverse journeys in coming to terms with living a life without children. Currently, it is estimated that one in five women in Ireland will not have a child, by the time they reach age 45. It is further estimated that only 10% of these women are childless by choice (child free). Childless, focuses on the other 90% of women, who represent an often less represented group. This group is often silenced by the taboo nature of this topic, which remains today, despite the number of women living without children, not by choice. Further, these statistics do not include other genders. A majority of countries primarily track the parental status of women only. Societies have become obsessed with motherhood and the idealization of human reproduction, supported by pronatalist rhetoric, which is reinforced through policy, in the workplace and socially. Hilary navigates the social, physical and emotional impact of childlessness throughout her documentary, with skillful artistry and a full heart, amidst the shadows of grief, a call for social change, and the lightness of learning to live a full and meaningful life. Please join us to learn more about her incredible radio documentary, and the issues that matter most to those who are living without children, involuntarily.

New Legacy Radio

Tuesday at 10 AM Pacific Time on VoiceAmerica Variety Channel

New Legacy Radio is a social justice platform to increase the visibility of our collective community, and to discuss the changes we seek around the marginalization and oppression of our diverse community. The show addresses the social, systemic, and structural realities for people without children, and the global impact of pronatalism. We discuss key issues pertaining to DEIB (diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging) frameworks, workplace equity, public policy and media narratives. This is also a space for allies, Human Resources and DEIB professionals, policymakers and parents to gain greater awareness around the stigma and exclusion experienced by nearly 25% of the global population. Together, we will learn about the personal, professional and global impact of pronatalism for people without children, and the pervasive ways it influences and impacts everyone, within cultures, systems and organizations. Join us in taking action for meaningful change, which includes and benefits us all.

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Christine Erickson

Christine Erickson (she/her) is the founder of New Legacy Institute. The Institute’s purpose is to advocate for change around social realities and policy inequities faced by those who do not have children. Christine is involuntarily childless by circumstance (cxc), and touched on her experiences in her award-winning book, The Mother Within: A Guide to Accepting Your Childless Journey. (2015) A revised edition is forthcoming. Her current writing focuses on the unacknowledged impact of women who are childless/childfree due to circumstances. Christine is dedicated to advancing the diverse narratives and experiences of people without children. She is a staunch advocate of our community’s equitable inclusion and belonging in the workplace, media & entertainment narratives, and making visible the ways in which our community is impacted by culture and policy, and the change we seek. As an executive and entrepreneur, she has lived and worked globally, for the majority of her career. She is an experienced executive coach, leadership educator, and the founder of the Center for Consent-Driven Leadership. She is writing a forthcoming book: Consent-Driven: Rethinking the Culture of Leadership. Christine is an advocate for justice reform in family law and court procedures, involuntary pro se representation, and multifaceted accountability regarding violence against women. She has also consulted on international women’s law and development, gender equity and healthcare access initiatives.

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