An event called the March of the Mummies is giving women – and men – the opportunity to fight back against pregnancy and maternity discrimination in the workplace.
The March of the Mummies was founded by the international pressure group Pregnant Then Screwed, who help women to know and understand their rights in the workplace and want to make a change. Many of the stories the Pregnant Then Screwed website show just how much this type of action is needed.
One woman explained: ‘When I told [work] I was pregnant my contract was abruptly “not renewed”,’ while another shared the fact that: ‘my male maternity cover was paid 60% more than me’.
‘After my second baby it was as if I was invisible [at work],’ a third frustrated mum revealed.
It’s because of these anonymous stories – and the fact that a whopping 77% of working mums have come against discrimination in the workplace – that the global marches need to happen.
Sharing the information on Twitter, Pregnant Then Screwed lists the main cities participating as London, Glasgow, Belfast, Manchester, Cardiff and Newcastle.
The marches will take place on Tuesday October 31, at 12pm, and as it’s Halloween, attendees are asked to dress up as mummies (the costume kind) to represent the archaic legislation that is in place.
Each demonstration will last no longer than two hours and you’re encouraged to bring children, wave banners, dress up – anything to make as much noise to draw as much attention to this issue as possible.
The organisation hopes to use the protest marches to highlight five key demands:
1. Increase the time limit to raise a tribunal claim from three months to (at least) six months
2. Require companies to report on how many flexible working requests are made and how many are granted
3. Give both parents access to six weeks non-transferable parental leave paid at 90% of original salary
4. Give the self-employed access to statutory shared parental pay
5. Subsidise childcare from sic months old, rather than three years
These demands will be presented to MPs on Parliament Square.
According to the Pregnant Then Screwed founder, Joeli Brearley, it’s up to women everywhere to care and make a stand.
In a column she wrote for the Telegraph, Joeli said: ‘The number of women who are pushed out of their job for daring to have children has almost doubled in the last 10 years.’
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‘[I started Pregnant Then Screwed in 2015] after I was sacked by my employer the day after announcing my pregnancy.’
‘We have attended Parliamentary meetings asking the Government to do more to help mothers – but no action has been taken. Sick and tired of the inaction, we’ve decided it is time to take to the streets.’
What do you think? Will you be going to one of the marches? Let us know in the comments box below.