Hello and welcome to Nature Solutionaries, a podcast that brings reproductive justice & conservation together.
My name is Veronika Perková. I’m a journalist investigating how women’s reproductive health and rights, the conservation of nature, and sustainable life on the planet are all interconnected.
Every month I interview people who are fighting to provide quality reproductive healthcare for women, to protect the planet’s biodiversity and to ensure the wellbeing of future generations.
If you support women's rights, love nature, and care about humankind, this podcast is for you.
Reproductive Justice Doesn’t End With Contraception | Nadine Goodman
If we truly want to liberate women, access to contraception is just the tip of the iceberg. We also need to feel comfortable talking about our bodies, our sexuality and sensuality, menstruation, post-partum depression, parental burnout and menopause. Because if we feel ashamed or embarrassed about these topics, we’re still being repressed.
That’s just one of many life lessons that Nadine Goodman has learned over the last 40 years running CASA, an impactful nonprofit that helps 80,000 people in central Mexico push reproductive health and rights forward every year. In this revealing interview, we talk about what needs to happen for women to be truly liberated and why it’s a good idea to take a holistic view of the health and well-being of women, whole communities, and the environment.
Meet the Nigerian Teacher Who Advocates for Smaller Families
To have a large family, and at least one son, are such strong cultural and religious norms in Nigeria that when women don’t meet them they’re often considered failures. Not only is this unfair to women, it’s also becoming nearly impossible to provide for a big family in Nigeria, where poverty is rampant and the cost of living has recently tripled.
Chidera Benoit, a teacher and Executive Director of Population Explosion Awareness Initiative, explains why it’s essential to change harmful patriarchal norms, broaden access to voluntary family planning and open up a conversation about sustainable population in Nigeria whose population is expected to double in the next two decades.
The Catalyst for Change in Pakistan: Women’s Empowerment
Imagine that you were a 14-year old girl, and instead of chatting with friends or monitoring Instagram, you’d be married off to an elderly man and expected to run a household.
Imagine that you gave birth to your first child, a cute baby girl, and instead of receiving cheerful reactions, people would start crying and feeling sorry for you.
Imagine that throughout your lifetime you would have to give birth to 9 children, undergo several miscarriages and see a few of your children die.
THIS is not just a bad dream. It’s a daily reality for many girls and women in the northwestern region of Pakistan where men rule with an iron fist and where women aren’t even aware of their rights. In this revealing interview, two human rights activists from The Awakening, Erfaan Hussein Babak and Neelum Rahim, share their experiences of breaking taboos and empowering women in a strictly patriarchal society.
800,000 Seeds of Hope Planted in Brazil’s Atlantic Forest
800,000 native trees. This is how many seeds of hope conservationists from Brazilian nonprofit REGUA have planted on degraded lands in the Atlantic Forest over the last two decades – one of the biologically richest forests in the world. And that’s not all!
The dedicated team managed to buy land that once used to be a farm and patch up fragmented pieces of forests to create an 11,000 hectare nature reserve. In this interview, Micaela Locke, the Research and Communications Coordinator at REGUA, talks about land restoration, native tree reforestation, building
corridors for wildlife, reintroducing tapirs, and safeguarding a vital watershed for 2.5 million people in Rio de Janeiro.
Should a Vocal Minority Dictate Women’s Futures?
Being able to make decisions about when or whether to have children is among the most fundamental human rights.
Yet when it comes to women and their bodies, suddenly so many people – complete strangers – feel they have the right to tell women what to do, like, “Contraceptive use is against our religion! “Abortion is a sin!” And so on.
And even though having bodily autonomy makes women healthier, happier, and wealthier, we’re still living in a world where we deny 44% of women autonomy over their options related to having sex, using contraceptives and seeking reproductive healthcare.
An alarming number for sure!
In this interview with Nabeeha Kazi Hutchins, the CEO and President of PAI, we speak about the whole-societal benefits of providing women reproductive rights, the impacts of repressive reproductive policies and the impetus to join the sisterhood fight.
What Every Conservationist Should Know: A Lesson From Madagascar
In Madagascar, where people depend on natural resources to survive, yet 75% live in extreme poverty, protecting nature is a big challenge. That's why conservation organizations are starting to realize that they can't only protect animals but must also address the well-being and health of communities living nearby protected areas.
Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust provides a wonderful example of the holistic approach to conservation. By improving food security, financial independence and reproductive health in local communities, Durrell achieved more widespread support for conservation and now, the populations of bamboo lemurs and Madagascar pochards (a rare duck species) are on the rise!
Listen to my interview with Hanitra Rakotojaona (from Durrell) and Nantenaina Andriamalala (from the PHE Madagascar Network) about building powerful partnerships and integrated approaches to conservation.