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SPA launches Stop at 2 Campaign
5 February 2020
No matter where we live in the world, the decisions we all make about our family size makes a huge difference
Having children is a significant life event that has impacts, both positive and not so positive. Our position in society, sense of belonging, and how we are judged by others is often affected by whether or not we are parents or have a traditional family. Whilst parenting can often bring great joy, it can often bring many difficulties, including financial stress and major lifestyle changes. Then there are environmental considerations, such as the impact of more feet on the planet and the concerns in bringing up a child into world facing many environmental and societal issues.
Did you know that in Australia, the decision to have one less child makes a much larger difference in terms of carbon offset that any individual changes in consumption or lifestyle choices?
This is not only the case in Australia with our high per capita consumption. According to Project Drawdown, educated and empowered women with access to family planning have smaller families on average. This not only has the largest impact in reducing climate change of all the measures assessed by Project Drawdown, but is also a moral issue. It affects gender equality, fairness, and mitigating the pain of millions of unwanted pregnancies globally every year.
That means family size choices are critical, no matter where you live on planet earth.
This is why SPA has launched our new ‘Stop at 2’ Campaignto encourage smaller families. We wanted to find out firsthand the human experience around deciding whether or not to have children and the tough choices almost all of us will need to grapple with one day.
In our video Talking Heads: Choosing to have Children….or not we interviewed six Australians from very different backgrounds and walks of life. They bravely share their experiences to the camera around whether or not to have a family after considering host of factors including their careers, activism and the state of the world.
In Tough Crowd – Jude Perl meets the Baronesses, comedian Jude Perl interviews three proud child free women “The Baronesses” who started a social and advocacy group to celebrate and normalise women who choose to be child free. They share both humorous anecdotes and challenges in regards to reactions from friends and family as they debunk the myths and assumption from wider society.
Speaking of comedian Jude Perl, she was interviewed by famous comedian Rod Quantock on her own experiences of being child free on SPA’s very first episode of Tough Crowd. Jude shared with Rod her reasons not to have children (both personal and environmental), her experiences of including her child free experiences in her stand up shows, and she concludes with a performance of her self-written child free anthem “Let’s Hang Out.”
Of course, SPA understands that a change in attitudes towards smaller families needs to happen on a global scale. In a recent interview with the ambassador of Costa Rica, he shares how his country achieved a non-coercive, inclusive family planning program that has a seen a reduction in fertility since the 60s and a more stable, happier population as a result.
On February 25, SPA will be supporting the launch of the film 8 Billion Angels for Melbourne’s Transition Festival. This film, made by the team at Earth Overshoot, details the scale of impact that humans are having on the globe and presents empowerment of women and access to family planning as a solution. They interview local family planning advocates in India as a case example. Our communications manager Michael Bayliss will open the screening with an introductory speech. More details on the screening can be found here.
SPA is pleased to share that our international colleagues are also working on population and family planning campaigns. For example, World Population Balance in the USA are Crowdfunding for a billboard campaign (link here). ScientistWarning.Org are generating interest for a United National Framework convention on population growth (link here). Although SPA cannot always share the exact same position or focus of our international colleagues, we applaud the initiatives being taken all around the world and invite individuals to visit these links to decide whether you would like to get involved.
We will conclude by screening our videos across several capital cities later this year along side a feature length documentary on small families. Watch this space.