Discrimination against pregnant and new mums in the UK is pretty frightening stuff, which is exactly why Pregnant Then Screwed has organised a march in six cities this Halloween to help raise awareness of the issue, as well as to ‘demand recognition, respect and change for working mums’.
The movement, which describes itself as ‘a safe space for mothers to tell their stories of pregnancy or maternity discrimination and to receive the support and protection they need’, is asking women to dress as ‘mummies’ tomorrow, in London, Belfast, Cardiff, Glasgow, Newcastle and Manchester. The family-friendly march will also have face painting and music.
The March of the Mummies comes after a government report found that a shocking 54,000 women are pushed out of their jobs every year for getting pregnant, with 77 per cent of working mums saying that they have received discriminatory treatment in the workplace. Since the report was published 84,500 more women have lost their jobs for having children.
The so-called ‘motherhood penalty’ is a key contributor to the gender pay gap, with women who have had children earning 15 per cent less than their childless peers. A report from the Equality and Human Rights Commission earlier this year highlighted that flexible working was its primary recommendation to improve gender equality in the work place. It called for all jobs to be advertised as flexible to speed up the closing of the gender pay gap. While some work is being done, it’s not being done quick enough, hence the March of the Mummies.
The group’s five demands all reflect this:
- Increase the time limit to raise a tribunal claim from 3 months to (at least) 6 months
- Require companies to report on how many flexible working requests are made and how many are granted
- Give both parents access to 6 weeks parental leave paid at 90% of salary
- Give the self-employed access to statutory shared parental pay
- Subsidise childcare from 6 months old, rather than 3 years
To find out how you can get involved, visit marchofthemummies.com