Mothers Against The Odd, a powerful and compelling documentary by award winning filmmakers Anne Daly and Ronan Tynan. Made in Kenya and Ireland it shows the kind of unimaginably cruel treatment that can be inflicted on women and girls, when they seek to give birth, if their rights are not respected. Narrated by Oscar winner Brenda Fricker, this Esperanza Productions documentary, took Tynan and Daly on what they describe as “a three year odyssey” and totally up-ended their expectations.

“When we set out to film Mothers Against the Odds in Kenya and Ireland, we expected few surprises in comparing the two countries, especially given that Kenyan mothers have a 25/1 chance of dying giving birth, while Irish mothers enjoy much better odds at 48,000/1. However, our Kenyan experience opened our eyes to the all but hidden histories of a number Irish mothers, who were forced to endure a level of cruelty, up to recent times, that was both shocking and incomprehensible – and totally at odds with our initial expectations. Our experience in Kenya brought into sharp focus that very compelling story at home, which remains a very controversial and still unresolved part of our history. Observing the treatment of many Kenyan mothers today, helped us to understand how some Irish mothers, in former decades, found themselves at the receiving end, during child birth, of treatment that in any other context, might be described as torture!”

“How could a medical procedure, symphysiotomy, which one leading Obstetrician described as from the “Dark Ages”, be performed on some Irish mothers, when they went into hospital to have their babies, without their consent, and that in so many cases literally destroyed their lives? In a so-called Western country how could an operation, which members of parliament from all parties recently compared to female genital mutilation in Africa, be performed in Irish hospitals, without these mothers even being informed?

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