Category Archives: Patriarchy

Nine Month Blues: A look at women’s reproductive rights in Canada |

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN: Nine Month Blues: A look at women’s reproductive rights in Canada |

From birth control, to abortion, to access to information and education, what’s happening with sexual health for women in Canada?

We talk to Greg Smith (Executive Director of and Joyce Arthur (Executive Director of the Abortion rights Coalition Of Canada – about the lay of the land for women’s reproductive rights in Canada.  We also include audio from the audio documentary “The Women Are Coming” about the Abortion Caravan to fight for women’s right too access free and legal abortion.

Music by Peggy Seeger, the Gruff, Ani Difranco, the Great Lake Swimmers and Nellie McKay.

The title of this podcast is borrowed from the Peggy Seeger song “9 Month Blues”.

Suffer for your art: A look at musician health and safety |

CLICK TO LISTEN: Suffer for your art: A look at musician health and safety |

On this show we take a look at the state of musician health and safety.  What are the hazards?   What protection do musicians have from injury and strain?  From electrocution to repetitive strain to addiction,  we take a look at the hazards musicians can risk in pursuit of their creative vision.

Includes interviews with Tim Tweedale (Headwater) and Leah Abramson (the Abramson Singers) about the hazards of being a working musician in Canada.

Music by Fred Eaglesmith, David Lindley and Wally Ingram, Headwater, the Abramson Singers, Janis Joplin and Amy Winehouse.

Mother’s Liberation: Care-giving under capitalism |

Mother’s Liberation: Examining Care-Giving under Capitalism

In recognition of the anti-imperialist pro-people history of Mother’s Day, People’s Health Radio joins moms in East Van and around the world as we reclaim this day as one of resistance against imperialist war and women’s oppression and exploitation.  PHR examines the health, social, and economic conditions of mothers, providing the unpaid care giving that allows public dollars to be diverted to privatization projects, imperialist occupation, and wars of aggression. 

Mother’s Liberation dreams of how mothers might be liberated from the isolating and at times grueling unpaid work of care giving under capitalism.


  • Valcina Cos, single mom, member of the Breakthrough Mamas
  • Suzanne Baustad, single mom, anti-poverty organizer, and founding member of Grassroots Women
  • Sophia Roberts, a high-school student, reading a Grassroots Women Mother’s Day statement
  • And speeches from the 2011 Mothers on the Move Mother’s Liberation Rally!

The Politics of Breastfeeding |

Click here to listen to our latest show: The Politics of Breastfeeding on

What happens to the health of moms and babies when infant feeding is commodified?

Tune in this week to People’s Health Radio where we discuss the commodification of infant feeding and the politics of breastfeeding in Canada, featuring interviews with:

Elisabeth Sterken, National Director, INFACT Canada (Infant Feeding Action Coalition)

Frances Jones, Lactation Consultant, Program Coordinator Lactation Services, BC Women’s and Children’s Hospitals, and Coordinator of the BC Women’s Milk Bank

Anne Simmonds, RN, PhD, Perinatal Nurse Consultant, Reproductive Care Program of Nova Scotia

It is estimated that 1.5 million babies die each year due to inappropriate feeding practices, while millions more suffer from malnutrition related to improperly mixed formula.  In the United States and Canada, as the production and marketing of pharmaceutical infant formulas to health care providers, hospitals, and mothers rapidly expanded, breastfeeding rates dropped to all-time lows, in some areas of Canada reaching as low as 20% in the 1970s and 1980s, and even lower by 6 months of age. With the commercialization of infant feeding, breastfeeding was no longer the norm, and the health of our babies and mothers was sacrificed on the altar of corporate profits.

In 1979 the World Health Organization, in partnership with UNICEF, drafted the International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes, which was subsequently passed at the 1981 International Health Assembly. This Code bans the promotion of bottle feeding and sets out labeling requirements for commercial infant feeding products with the aim of restricting the unnecessary use of formula; the Canadian Government endorsed the Code, but failed to adequately enforce it in the face of industry lobbying and opposition.

Opening a ‘second front’ in the struggle to protect and promote breastfeeding, the Baby-Friendly Initiative was launched by WHO and UNICEF in the early 1990’s to impact infant feeding at the level of health services. The initiative is a global effort to implement practices that protect, promote and support breastfeeding by accrediting maternity and community health-care facilities and higher education institutions that have passed an external assessment. In Canada, BC Women’s Hospital is the largest designated Baby-Friendly tertiary care centre.

And what is gained by the pharmaceutical and baby food industries at the expense of our babies and mothers?  In 2005 the estimated world market for formula was 7.9 billion dollars. In 2009, Nestle Corporation, makers of Good Start formula, earned over 200 million from the sales of infant milks alone!

Join People’s Health Radio for an engaging conversation on the shocking politics of breastfeeding!


Breastfeeding support and education

La Leche League Canada:

BC Women’s Hospital Breastfeeding Services:

Breastfeeding On-line, featuring Dr. Jack Newman:

Finding a Breastfeeding Support Person:

Latching Videos:

INFACT Canada “Risks of Formula Feeding”:

BC Baby Friendly Resources:

Breastfeeding Action

INFACT Canada, “Take Action!”:

Protect Breastfeeding Petition:

INFACT Canada “Out of the Mouths of Babes: How Canada’s Infant Food industry defies world health organization rules and puts infant health at risk”:

The International Baby-Food Action Network (IBFAN):

In Sickness and in Health: Women’s health in marriage |

In Sickness and in Health: Women’s health in married relationships |