As part of our ongoing blog series, we will be sitting down and have conversations with a number of advocates in our local community. This week we speak to Amanda Bradley from Children by Choice.
What is your name and role, and what is your passion in life?
Amanda Bradley, Manager, Children by Choice – my first passion is my family, my husband, my four sons and all our connected siblings, parents, cousins and in-laws. My second passion is public health and the impact of health inequalities, I passionately believe that health should be equitable for all people.
Why do you do what you do?
When I was little, I used to say to my Dad “it’s not fair” whenever some kind of injustice occurred in my life. His pat answer was always “life’s not fair”. I could never accept that.
Are you a feminist and what does feminism mean to you?
Ha! Is the Pope Catholic? Yes, I’m a feminist. Out, loud and proud.
Many, many, many experiences over many years. I was pregnant at 19 and decided to continue, even though it was unplanned (thanks to failed contraception). An older friend encouraged me to use a midwife instead of a doctor for the birth of my first child. I was well supported and my birthing choices were respected. I felt strong and empowered becoming a mother. When contraception failed me a second time just five months later, I chose to have a termination. I did so in secret. I believed that the same people who supported me to continue my first pregnancy would not support me to have a termination and those who had urged me to have an abortion would not understand why this pregnancy was different. It was the best decision for me. I was very clear that I could not manage another child at that time. I have never regretted my decision or felt that I came to any harm because of it. I went on to have three more very wanted and loved children. All of those births took place in my home, with people I loved and trusted, without any medical intervention, and overseen by midwives where I was in control of what happened to me. In saying this, I was incredibly lucky. I remained healthy throughout my pregnancies, I had normal deliveries without complications, and I was in a country with a supportive health system. Motherhood, is without doubt, what led me to feminism.
I have worked in both the education and community sectors and become more and more passionate about the inequalities and injustices that we are faced with; ‘wicked problems.’
Feminism to me is a lens through which to view one form of inequality, that based on gender. Alongside racism, ableism, poverty, gender identity, and many other lenses. Equality for all people is what I believe we have to strive for. No human is worth more or less than another human. We are all individuals who have hopes, dreams, values, and belief systems. At the same time, we are part of collectives that are so interconnected that we cannot survive without each other. When we try to denigrate one collective, we always harm ourselves. There is nothing more important than how we treat each other. My Dad taught me that kindness is the most important human trait.
What do you think is the most pressing social problem today (globally)?
Poverty overlaid with climate change. We are about to see climate refugees like we have never seen refugees in human history.
If there was one resource you think everyone should view, what would it be?
The Handmaids Tale. Right now, it feels like there is not a more prophetic story written.