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A tribute to Sheila Kitzinger

The words that come to mind when paying a tribute to Sheila’s larger than life persona in the birth movement over more than half a century are flamboyant, formidable, intrepid, direct, passionate in her speaking and actions but also very compassionate and indefatigably fighting for causes related to women’s empowerment to give birth on their terms wherever they are.

Inspired by Jamaican midwives, Sheila has been an active anthropologist in addressing perceptions of womanhood, motherhood and sexuality in their social contexts, across cultures but mostly at home in the UK. Perhaps her writings have been too close to the lived experiences of women, too inspiring and personally influential for taking their due ranks in courses on the anthropology of birth, but this does not matter because she has reached a far wider audience on her terms.

I salute Sheila as a supporter of Birthlight, wonderful speaker at our conferences whom participants will remember with emotion and also as an admired friend. I look forward to reading her forthcoming book celebrating her life because her love of life and her expression of colourful celebration of everyday are my most cherished memories of her.



Sheila Kitzinger's inspiring talk '‘Do women really have a choice in childbirth?’ at the Birthlight 'Womb to World' 2011 conference in Cambridge.


Sheila Kitzinger – inspiration, activist and friend  (Mary Newburn)

Sheila Kitzinger obituary (The Guardian)

Sheila Kitzinger, childbirth expert obituary  (The Telegraph)

Jenni Murray pays tribute to Sheila Kitzinger (Mail online)

Press Release Pinter & Martin

BBC news article