I. TRANSCRIPT

Liz Waid and Colin Lowther look at the social attitudes around infertility. Many people hope to have children. But sometimes, they are not able. This can bring great shame. Today, women are saying: no baby, no shame!

Voice 1
Welcome to Spotlight. I’m Liz Waid.

Voice 2
And I’m Colin Lowther. Spotlight uses a special English method of broadcasting. It is easier for people to understand, no matter where in the world they live.

Voice 1
When Betty Apio married her husband many years ago, both their families were full of hope and happiness. Apio lives in the country of Uganda. In Uganda, as in many countries, everyone expects women to have children. Many people there believe that women exist to have children. To fail at this, is to fail as a wife and as a woman.

Voice 2
After Apio was married, her husband prepared their house for children. Then they waited. They tried again and again to have children. But the children never came.

Voice 1
Today’s Spotlight is on infertility. Some people are not able to have children — even when they are trying for over a year. This is infertility. There are many medical reasons for infertility. But today’s Spotlight is on the social attitudes surrounding infertility.

Voice 2
Betty Apio and her husband went to a doctor to find out what was wrong. She received some medical treatments from the doctor. But they did not work. To make the situation worse, her husband’s family began to make fun of her and call her bad names. In Uganda, a man can have more than one wife. So, his family told him to find another woman, a second wife. This new wife gave him two children. Now Apio lives a different kind of life. She told the Washington Post Foreign Service:

Voice 3
“People will never give me respect. They believe I have no value. They insult me. They say: ‘You barren woman, you are useless!’ It is horrible. I must be strong or I will not survive.”

Voice 1
Infertility affects people all around the world. It does not matter if you have money, education, or power. And it affects both men and women. Experts say that globally, about 15 percent of all couples who are at the age to have children are infertile. In some places, this number can be as high as 20 percent.

Voice 2
Infertility is common. But people do not often talk about this problem. Many people feel great pressure to have children, even if they are successful in other areas of life. To men and women who want to have children but are not able, the pressure can be crushing. And often, if a couple cannot have children, people blame the woman.

Voice 2
It is difficult to be infertile. But the social attitude about infertility only makes the problem worse. As in Betty Apio’s case, the community can make infertile people feel great shame. But people should not feel shame about their infertility. They should not feel alone. In fact, some women are speaking out to encourage other people who may be struggling. By talking together, they are finding hope.

Voice 1
Betty Apio wanted to be one of these women. She decided to talk about her situation. She wanted to share her story with other women. She did not want other people to feel like she did.

Voice 2
Apio has found some help at a support center in Kampala. At the center there were groups that help women. These groups explain the medical reasons for infertility. Women can connect with other women. And they can connect with doctors who can help them at a fertility center.

Voice 1
Prakesh Patel runs one of the fertility centres in Kampala. He told the Washington Post that many women struggle to visit him. Women often do not want anyone to know they are going to a fertility centre. And they share great sadness. He said,

Voice 4
“I say to them, ‘This is not a disease. There are many like you. You do not have to feel shame.”

Voice 1
If you do not feel comfortable talking to a friend or family member, there may be resources in your community. Many fertility centers have support groups. They are a good place to learn about what medical treatments are possible in your area. These treatments are not possible for everyone. They may cost a lot of money. And they do not always work. But the most important treatment is the support and love to face the challenge of infertility.

Voice 2
The emotional pain of infertility is very real. This is true even for people who are able to build their family in other ways such as through medicine or through adoption, caring for a child without parents.

Voice 1
Many people who are infertile feel anger and shame. They may wonder why this could happen to them. They may want to feel peace and acceptance. But they also may not want to lose the dream of having children.

Voice 2
Shannon Woodward wrote a book about her struggle to make peace with her infertility called “Inconceivable”. It was not easy for her. Her desire to have her own children never went away. Woodward is a Christian. She says she was able to see how God can work through her pain. She writes:

Voice 5
“For years, I hated my broken body parts. I took my worth from what I could or could not produce. I asked God to heal my body. But it turns out he had a better plan. He healed parts of me I did not know were broken. He put new skin on old wounds. He freed me from my pain and self-hatred.”

Voice 2
Do you know someone who has struggled to have a baby? Is there support for infertility in your area? Tell us about your experiences. You can leave a comment on our website. Or email us at contact@spotlightenglish.com. You can also find us on Facebook and YouTube.

Voice 1
The writer of this program was Adam Navis. The producer was Michio Ozaki. The voices you heard were from the United States and the United Kingdom. All quotes were adapted for this program and voiced by Spotlight. You can listen to this program again, and read it, on the internet at www.spotlightenglish.com. This program is called “No Baby, No Shame in Infertility”.

Voice 2
Visit our website to download our free official App for Android and Apple devices. We hope you can join us again for the next Spotlight program. Goodbye!

II. VOCABULARY

  • shame /ʃeɪm/ (n): xấu hổ
    • This can bring great shame.
  • attitude /ˈætɪˌtud/ (n): thái độ
    • today’s Spotlight is on the social attitudes surrounding infertility
  • infertility /ˌɪnfərˈtɪləti/ (n): hiếm muộn
    • There are many medical reasons for infertility
  • infertile /ɪnˈfɜrt(ə)l/ (adj): hiếm muộn
    • The community can make infertile people feel great shame
  • broadcast /ˈbrɔdˌkæst/: phát sóng
    • Spotlight uses a special English method of broadcasting
  • expect /ɪkˈspekt/: mong đợi
    • In Uganda, as in many countries, everyone expects women to have children
  • treatment /ˈtritmənt/: điều trị
    • She received some medical treatments from the doctor
  • situation /ˌsɪtʃuˈeɪʃ(ə)n/: tình hình
    • To make the situation worse, her husband’s family began to make fun of her and call her bad names
  • respect /rɪˈspekt/: tôn trọng
    • People will never give me respect
  • insult /ˈɪnˌsʌlt/: xúc phạm
    • They insult me
  • barren /ˈberən/: vô sinh
    • You barren woman, you are useless!
  • survive /sərˈvaɪv/: tồn tại, còn sống
    • I must be strong or I will not survive
  • affect /əˈfekt/: ảnh hưởng (đến)
    • Infertility affects people all around the world
  • globally /ˈɡloʊbəli/ (adv): toàn cầu
    • Experts say that globally, about 15 percent of all couples who are at the age to have children are infertile
  • common /ˈkɑmən/: phổ biến
    • Infertility is common
  • pressure /ˈpreʃər/: áp lực
    • Many people feel great pressure to have children, even if they are successful in other areas of life
  • rush /rʌʃ/: đè nặng, đè nén
    • men and women who want to have children but are not able, the pressure can be crushing
  • blame /bleɪm/: khiển trách, quở trách
    • A couple cannot have children, people blame the woman.
  • community /kəˈmjunəti/: cộng đồng
  • encourage /ɪnˈkʌrɪdʒ/: khuyến khích
  • fact /fækt/: thực tế
  • struggle /ˈstrʌɡ(ə)l/: đấu tranh
    • In fact, some women are speaking out to encourage other people who may be struggling
  • decide /dɪˈsaɪd/: quyết định
    • She decided to talk about her situation
  • resource /ˈriˌsɔrs/: something that you can use to help you to achieve something, especially in your work or study
    • if you do not feel comfortable talking to a friend or family member, there may be resources in your community
  • possible /ˈpɑsəb(ə)l/: có thẻ áp dụng
    • They are a good place to learn about what medical treatments are possible in your area.
  • challenge /ˈtʃælɪndʒ/: thách thức
    • the most important treatment is the support and love to face the challenge of infertility.
  • emotional /ɪˈmoʊʃ(ə)nəl/: cảm xúc
    • The emotional pain of infertility is very real.
  • adoption /əˈdɑpʃ(ə)n/: nhận con nuôi
    • This is true even for people who are able to build their family in other ways such as through medicine or through adoption, caring for a child without parents.
  • anger /ˈæŋɡər/: phẫn nộ, giận dữ
    • Many people who are infertile feel anger and shame.
  • acceptance /əkˈseptəns/: chấp nhận
    • They may want to feel peace and acceptance
  • inconceivable /ˌɪnkənˈsivəb(ə)l/: phi thường
    • Shannon Woodward wrote a book about her struggle to make peace with her infertility called “Inconceivable”
  • desire /dɪˈzaɪr/: khao khát, mong mỏi
    • Her desire to have her own children never went away
  • heal /hil/: chữa lành
    • I asked God to heal my body
  • wound /wund/: vết thương
    • He put new skin on old wounds.
  • hatred /ˈheɪtrəd/: sự thù ghét, căm hận
  • self-hatred: hận bản thân, căm ghét bản thân
    • He freed me from my pain and self-hatred.
  • free: giải thoát