Founded by a group of Black feminists and women of colour in the USA in 1994 (Price, 2010), 'reproductive justice' is a global movement combining reproductive rights and social justice (Ross & Solinger, 2017). It is a movement that pushes us to critically think about intersecting forms of oppression and structural inequality while centring the experiences of marginalised communities facing reproductive injustice. Reproductive justice is the human right to maintain personal bodily autonomy, have children, not have children, and parent the children we have in safe and sustainable communities (SisterSong). Feminist researchers and activists are playing a critical role in bringing experiences and perspectives of reproductive injustice to the centre of research and into policy spaces, linking research and activism, and advocating for change. Yet, we are still learning from our collective work.
In this live podcast, RSSH member Elise Denis-Ramirez welcomes three inspirational speakers Dr Rishita Nandagiri, Professor Patricia Maguire, and Dr Camilla Fitzsimons. All have been driving the reproductive justice conversation across academia, feminist groups, and activist spaces. Join us in a conversation about the challenges they have faced, the progress they have made, and their hopes for the future.
Dr Rishita Nandagiri (she/her) is a feminist researcher working on gender, abortion, and reproductive (in)justices in the Global South. She is a Lecturer (Assistant Professor) in the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine, King’s College London; serves on the International Union for the Scientific Study of Population’s panel on Abortion Research; and is an editorial advisory board member of BMJ Sexual & Reproductive Health. She co-runs, with Joe Strong, the Abortion Book Club, interrogating depictions of abortion in fiction. She tweets on @rishie_.
Professor Emeritus Patricia Maguire is a long-time advocate for feminist-informed participatory and action research. She is a Professor Emeritus of Education and Counseling, Western New Mexico University. For twenty-five years, Patricia was Chairperson of the WNMU-Gallup Graduate Studies Center (GGSC). Located in Gallup, New Mexico, a border town to the Navajo Nation and Pueblo of Zuni, the WNMU- GGSC served one of the most culturally rich, linguistically diverse, yet economically poorest communities in the United States. Patricia’s book, Doing Participatory Research: A Feminist Approach (1987) was one of the first feminist critiques of PAR. This was based on a multi-year PAR project with former battered women. Inspired by bell hooks and Paulo Freire, she believes the classroom is still a space of radical possibilities and she taught feminist-informed Teacher Action Research for years - and explored what happens for teachers who engage in action research with transformational intentions. Recently, Patricia started the Participatory Action Research Feminist Trailblazers & Good Troublemakers Podcast to amplify & elevate contributions of feminists to the development of participatory action research.
Dr Camilla Fitzsimons is an associate professor at Maynooth University, Ireland, and a long-time social justice activist with a particular interest in politicising education within social movements and community spaces. She has researched and published extensively on a range of issues relating to the oppression of basic reproductive rights and is the author of the award-winning book Repealed: Ireland’s Unfinished Fight for Reproductive Rights. Camilla is currently involved in a nationwide study on feminist activism in Ireland that argues for a radical, inclusive, anti-neoliberal approach to activism. She has also designed a range of educational materials for use in community-based and social justice spaces.
Elise Denis-Ramirez (she/her) is a feminist researcher with specific expertise in sexual and reproductive health, abortion rights, gender-based violence and youth-led approaches across research and activism. Her PhD research at the Open University explores perceptions and experiences of reproduction, sexuality, and abortion during adolescence in Chile and is guided by feminist participatory action research and art-embodied methods. Elise is committed to critically study how we employ participatory research that is gender transformative and intersectional. Twitter: @ebdramirez