Episode 1: ‘What Does it Mean to be Childless in a Child-Centered Society?’ Guest: Hilary Fennell

by | Feb 22, 2022 | NLR Pilot Episodes | 0 comments

22 February 2022

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.

Pilot Episode 1:


Access the transcript here.

Listen to Hilary’s radio documentary (access is free) ‘Childless’ here.

To support ‘Childless’ donate by Paypal to hilary@hilaryfennell.com


Episode 1: ‘What Does it Mean to be Childless in a Child-Centered Society?’ Guest: Hilary Fennell
22 February 2022


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