Childfree women as occupational beings

Conference poster


Wells, G. 2019. Childfree women as occupational beings.
AuthorsWells, G.
TypeConference poster
Description

Social norms and cultural expectations have long intimated that to be a woman is to be a mother (Peterson and Engwall 2013). However times are changing with increasing numbers of women choosing to be child free (Ashburn-Nardo 2017). With the growth in Feminism, considerable development has occurred regarding the opportunities available to women and it is increasingly accepted that women should have the freedom to make all decisions affecting their lives (e.g. Scholz 2010). However women who challenge social norms by choosing to be childfree are often regarded with suspicion and face considerable stigma (Ashburn-Nardo 2017).

Occupational therapists are concerned with the occupations that people need or want to do. Occupations commonly link to the roles that people fulfil and these roles contribute to the uniqueness of a person and define who they are (Chard 2010). When considering the roles that an individual may perform during their life course, that of parent is expected to pervade much of adult life. If a woman chooses to be childfree this will have consequences for the occupations and roles that she will engage in.

This poster will provide a critical exploration of existing literature that explores the experiences of childfree women. Adopting an occupational lens, the consequences of being childfree will be considered in terms of the experiences of women as occupational beings.

As occupational therapists it is essential that we develop our understanding of women as complex occupational beings to ensure that our practice is truly person centred.

References
Ashburn-Nardo L (2017) Parenthood as a Moral Imperative? Moral Outrage and the Stigmatisation of Voluntarily Childfree Women and Men. Sex Roles 76(5-6):393-401
Chard G (2010) Chapter 13 – Analysis of Occupational Performance in Curtin M; Molineux M; Supyk J (Eds) (2010) Occupational Therapy and Physical Dysfunction. Enabling Occupation. 6th Edition. London: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier
Peterson H, Engwall K (2013) Silent bodies: Childfree women’s gendered and embodied experiences. European Journal of Women’s Studies 20(4):376-389
Scholtz S (2010) Feminism. Oxford: One World

Year2019
ConferenceRoyal College of Occupational Therapy Conference 2019
Publication process dates
Deposited20 Jun 2019
Completed17 Jun 2019
Accepted17 Jun 2019
Output statusUnpublished
Accepted author manuscript
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https://repository.canterbury.ac.uk/item/88zyy/childfree-women-as-occupational-beings

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