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What, No Baby?

Why Women Are Losing the Freedom to Mother, and How They Can Get It Back

What, No Baby?
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What, No Baby? takes us on a journey into the lives of contemporary women who plan to have it all - marriage, motherhood and work - yet have been derailed by reluctant men, insatiably demanding jobs and ever-climbing expectations of what it takes to be a 'good' mother.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics predicts that 25% of Australian women who are currently in their reproductive years will never have children. Yet respected researcher and ethicist Leslie Cannold argues that women want to mother as much as they ever did. What has changed is their willingness to sacrifice eveything they've built - everything they are - to do so. Drawing on demographic data, social research and insights gained from interviews with women in their 20s, 30s and 40s, Cannold shows that the easier society makes it for women to combine parenthood and paid work, the closer women get to having the number of children they want.

At the end of the 21st century, it is women's freedom to mother that is most at risk. Guaranteed to reshape the current debate around declining fertility, What, No Baby? is a must-read for everyone concerned about Australia's fertility decline and for women who want to better understand - and to solve - the social problems keeping them from fulfilling lives in which children play a part.

Fremantle Press; February 2005
336 pages; ISBN 9781921696923
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