Mama to Be?


How many women in the world actually have an opportunity to decide if, how, and when to create a family? What are the reasons that women today are choosing – or refusing to choose – motherhood? Explore the Mama to Be? gallery and find out.

Read BIG IDEAS from thought leaders around the globe, meet HEROES working on behalf of women and mothers, experience creative work from our global community in YOUR VOICES, and more!

Facts, Figures, and Data That Frame the Issues
  • All women should have the right to make informed choices about childbearing and access reproductive health services. Yet in too many places, the right to control one’s body and destiny is not recognized.
Thought leaders present provocative, innovative ideas
  • Kavita Ramdas explains how limited access to contraceptive methods for women around the globe helps to maintain and further aggravate the world’s impoverished state.
Heroes working to advance the rights of mothers and children
  • Prum Than empowers women to make safe reproductive health choices in her work at a reproductive and maternal health care clinic in Cambodia.
  • Yvette Mulongo works with women in the Democratic Republic of Congo on issues of family planning and gender based violence, saving women's lives in the process.
Art, writing, and multimedia from women and men around the world
  • Humaira Abid depicts the pain and disappointment that comes along with miscarriage in her intricate wooden sculptures.
  • Meredith May tells the story of Anita, a Nepalese girl who was sold as a domestic servant for $75. Nine years later, Anita sought justice.
  • Artist Miriam Schaer embroidered toddler dresses with quotes that depict the prejudice and hostility women without children face.
  • Tecee Boley's podcast reports the toll unsafe abortions takes on women in Liberia—a country where elective abortions remain illegal.
  • Wanda Torres’ art reflects her conflicting emotions around having children and the reality of her ticking biological clock.
Fiction and memoir from celebrated women writers
  • Blessing Musariri tells the story of Tinashe, a young Zimbabwean boy. When his mother takes Tinashe away with her in hopes of starting a new life, her young son must confront incomprehensible loss.
  • Leila Aboulela tells the story of a pregnant woman who recently moved to a new city for her husband's job; she is often alone, and feels uncertain and unmoored as she awaits the birth of her baby.
  • Sierra Leonian writer Aminatta Forna tells the story of a girl with a charismatic mother who was the favorite wife of her father, but also the target of judgments and criticisms from others in their community.
  • Samina Ali tells about her medically dangerous labor and delivery, during which she almost died, and what she learned from her infant son during her long period of rehabilitation.
  • Maggie Gee describes the growing pains she experienced as her daughter grew older and as she attempted to balance work and motherhood.
  • Beatrice Lamwaka's "Butterfly Dreams" is the story of a young woman who returns to her mother after five years of being a child soldier.
  • Valerie Mason-John tells the affecting story of a woman in Sierra Leone who lost many of her children and watched her country be torn apart by war and the search for blood diamonds.

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