International Women’s Day 2023 – Wise Women’s Words, Part 1

International Women’s Day and Reproductive Justice


International Women’s Day is an opportunity to honour the experiences and identities of all those who experience oppression under patriarchy — and to talk about the specific injustices faced by women and birthing people. Here at Amma, we believe these conversations shouldn’t take place on just one day a year. So, this International Women’s Day we’re kicking off a three-part series of frank and open discussions focused on the many intersections of reproductive justice.

We have invited some of our favourite Wise Women to talk and tackle challenging questions and offer hopeful solutions. These birth workers, activists, scholars, and people with lived experience are all working to support, care, and advocate for women and birthing people. In these interviews, they share their experience, knowledge, frustrations and vision for a better future – one with fair reproductive rights for all. Throughout March, we will be sharing three interviews exploring the intersections of reproductive justice.

What is Reproductive Justice?

Reproductive justice is a term that was coined by SisterSong in 1994. SisterSong defines reproductive justice as “the human right to maintain personal bodily autonomy, have children, not have children, and parent the children we have in safe and sustainable communities.”

Reproductive justice isn’t just about abortion. According to SisterSong, it’s also about access to: contraception, comprehensive sex education, STI prevention and care, alternative birth options, adequate prenatal and pregnancy care, domestic violence assistance, adequate wages to support our families, safe homes, and so much more.

To achieve reproductive justice, we must address intersecting oppressions and centre the most marginalised groups in our society. As SisterSong describes, “Our society will not be free until the most vulnerable people are able to access the resources and full human rights to live self-determined lives without fear, discrimination, or retaliation.”

Meet our Speakers

Nicola Mahdiyyah Goodall
, a birth worker, doula, childbirth educator, doula trainer, advocate and activist. Nicola combines holistic care and a deep calling to the work to support families crossing the threshold of birth, as well as knowledge and a sense of justice to educate birth professionals and volunteers- including Amma volunteers- on cultural safety, Black maternal health disparities and more.

Lucy Grieve  is one of the co-founders of Back Off Scotland, an activist group formed in 2020 to campaign for the Scottish Government to put in place buffer zones around hospitals and clinic which provide abortion services. Currently patients accessing all sorts of healthcare- including abortion services are facing harassment and intimidation by anti-abortion protestors as part of the “40 Days for Life” campaign.  

Kate MacKay is a midwife and childbirth educator who has worked with Amma teaching our antenatal classes and was also active in the March for Midwives movement which brought to fore the impact that midwives’ labour rights have on the care they are able to provide to parents during the perinatal period.  

Watch the full interview below – we’d love to hear your comments and questions on this topic – let’s continue the discussion together!