Women's History Month: Sarah Williams

Sarah Williams is a feminist scholar and medical anthropologist focused on reproductive rights and health. In this spotlight, she discusses what Women's History Month means to her and her research.

"As a feminist scholar and medical anthropologist focused on reproductive rights and health, I am particularly focused on utilizing a reproductive justice lens to trace the connections between structural misogyny, white supremacy, and trans/homophobia in our current reproductive landscape. My scholarship is inextricable from feminist activism, community-engaged research with birthworkers and birthing people, and teaching.

In my current course, 'Theorizing Reproductive In/Justice,' students are working with Mama Glow Foundation, Doulas of Rhode Island, the Rhode Island Doula Cooperative, and Brown University staff to develop necessary resources and research materials in support of expanding access to doula care and more accessible and fair parental leave for Rhode Island families and Brown University workers, projects that advance both racial and gender equity. Institutional structures that are hostile to women, birthing people, and families remain entrenched in our society, even within privileged institutions like Brown.  

Women’s History Month is an important opportunity to reflect on the immense efforts of women in the past to create a livable, more equitable future for their daughters and granddaughters, and a reminder that progress cannot be taken for granted. This year in particular, as state legislatures rush to pass laws limiting pregnant peoples’ autonomy and criminalizing their right to choose, outlawing trans-affirming healthcare, cutting social services that are necessary to support low-income families, and steadily working to destroy the rights and services that the women who we honor during this month worked so hard to enshrine, it’s critical that we recognize our responsibility to continue their work."