International pressure group, Pregnant Then Screwed will be marching to Westminster from Nelson’s Column this Halloween (Tuesday 31st October 2017 from 12 till 1.30pm) in a rally aptly named ‘March of the Mummies’. Together with Women’s Equality Party, Fawcett Society, Working Families, The Lullaby Trust, Yess Law, the Organise Platform, Parental Pay Equality and Bristol Women’s Voice the protest seeks to highlight the issue of maternity discrimination which haunts 77 per cent of new mums, and pushes one in nine pregnant women out of their job (EHRC, 2016).
Since announcing the Westminster event last month, concurrent sister marches have been announced in Belfast, Cardiff, Glasgow, Newcastle and Manchester. The march is being supported by a number of MPs and celebrities. The demonstration follows the success of its recent campaign, ‘Give me Six’, which seeks to increase the time limit to raise a tribunal claim from three to six months. This campaign has the support of 99 MPs and more than 54,000 people.
Joeli Brearley, founder of Pregnant Then Screwed said:
“March of the Mummies is our first demonstration, and we are encouraging those attending to dress up as mummies (the walking dead kind) to highlight the archaic behaviour of some employers today. Despite the success of our #GivemeSix campaign, little progress has been made on maternity and pregnancy discrimination. In March 2016, the Equality and Human Rights Commission revealed that the number of women losing their jobs for getting pregnant has almost doubled in the last ten years. We are delighted at the momentum we are seeing, with sister marches springing up in five other cities to support the London event. We are marching, along with our sisters in cities around the UK, to demand recognition, respect and change for working mums.”
‘March of the Mummies’ has five key demands which they will be presenting to Parliament:
- 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 fathers access to 6 weeks non-transferable paternity 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
Sarah Jackson OBE, Chief Executive of Working Families, said:
“We hear from women experiencing maternity and pregnancy discrimination every single day. There is no place for these illegal practices in British workplaces, and no woman should lose her job simply because she’s had a child. The Government should urgently make a six-month time limit for pregnancy and maternity employment tribunal claims the norm – it’s simply not good enough to rely on tribunals granting extensions as a favour to women who have been discriminated against.”
To find out more about Pregnant Then Screwed please visit www.pregnantthenscrewed.com and for more information about ‘March of the Mummies’ please visit www.marchofthemummies.com or follow the hashtag #marchofthemummies.