This taboo-busting panel explores how and why society continues to define women by their reproductive choices.

Founder of The Motherhood Group, Sandra Igwe joins author, lecturer and broadcaster Eliane Glaser and behavioural scientist Dr. Pragya Agarwal to unpack the ways in which motherhood remains a social obsession and how these expectations and discriminations are more likely to be experienced by women of colour.

With each speaker having recently released books on contemporary motherhood to critical acclaim, expect this discussion to cut right to heart of what motherhood looks like for women in 21st-century Britain. 

 

About The Speakers

Elaine Glaser

Eliane Glaser is a writer, a senior lecturer at Bath Spa University, an associate research fellow at Birkbeck, University of London, and a BBC Radio producer and broadcaster. Her books include Get Real: How to See Through the Hype, Spin and Lies of Modern Life, which is about how political and financial elites legitimise themselves by co-opting authenticity, people-power, grassroots localism and progressive ideals.

Headshot of author Dr Pragya Agarwal stood in front of a brick wall

Dr Pragya Agarwal

Pragya Agarwal is a behavioural and data scientist, visiting professor of Social Inequities at Loughborough University in the UK, and founder of research think-tank ‘The 50 Percent Project’ that examines gender and racial inequities around the world. Pragya is the author of a number of scholarly articles, and three non-fiction books. ‘Sway: Unravelling Unconscious Bias’ was published in 2020 with Bloomsbury and was nominated one of best popular science books of 2020, Guardian Book of the Week and shortlisted for the Transmission Prize. ‘Wish We Knew What To Say: Talking With Children about Race’ was also published in 2020 and ‘(M)otherhood: On the choices of being a woman’ was published in June 2021. Her next book HYSTERICAL is out in September 2022.

Besides non-fiction books for adults, Pragya has also recently written her first book for children titled ‘Stand up to Racism’ published by Hachette. Her writing has appeared in Guardian, Prospect, Forbes, BBC Science Focus, Scientific American and New Scientist amongst others, and her creative non-fiction writing also appears in several literary magazines. She is a two-time TEDx speaker and has appeared on BBC Woman’s Hour. NPR, Radio 5 live, BBC Breakfast, ABC and many other international media platforms.

Sandra Igwe

Sandra Igwe is a black maternal health advocate, expert by experience, and is the Founder of The Motherhood Group, a social enterprise that supports the black maternal experience by delivering community-based events, peer-to-peer support, national campaigns, and culturally sensitive programmes for black mothers. Sandra is also a Trustee for Birthrights Charity, the leading charity on human rights in pregnancy and childbirth in the UK and she is also the co-chair of the National Inquiry into Racial Injustice in Maternity Care. 

Sandra is the author of My Black Motherhood: Mental Health, Stigma, Racism and the System. In this book, she uses her voice, and many other Black women’s experiences to demand that Black women are listened to, believed, and understood by healthcare professionals. 

About The Chair

Bidisha

Bidisha is a broadcaster, journalist and film maker. She works for The Observer and The Guardian and presents and commentates for BBC TV and radio, ITN, CNN, ViacomCBS and Sky News, where she has been a regular on the weekend breakfast show since 2016. Bidisha specialises in international human rights, social justice and culture and the arts. Her fifth book,  Asylum and Exile: Hidden Voices of London (2015), is based on her outreach work in UK prisons, refugee charities and detention centres. 

Her first short film, An Impossible Poison, premiered in Berlin in November 2017  and received its London premier in March 2018. It has been highly acclaimed and selected for numerous international film festivals. Her latest publication is an essay called The Future of Serious Art (Nov 2020) and her latest film series, Aurora, launched in 2020 and is ongoing. She is currently presenting the Hello Happiness audio series for Wellcome Collection, all about mental and physical health.