International pressure group, Pregnant Then Screwed will be marching from Newcastle Civic Centre to Greys Monument this Halloween (Tuesday 31st October 2017 from 12.00pm till 1pm) in a protest rally aptly named ‘March of the Mummies’. Together with Beccy Owen’s Pop Up Choirs, Birth, Baby & Family, Chalk, The Cumberland Arms, Mothers Who Make, Nasty Women North East, Sprog On The Tyne and The Young Women’s Outreach Project the protest seeks to highlight the issue of maternal discrimination which haunts 77% of working mums (EHRC, 2016).
In August 2017, Pregnant Then Screwed announced its demonstrations in cities across the UK, however, owing to its popularity and viral spread on social media, other cities and teams have put themselves forward. Therefore, the Newcastle March of the Mummies, will be walking in solidarity with marches in London, Belfast, Manchester, Glasgow and other cities, to be confirmed. The march is supported by a number of MPs and celebrities.
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. Since founding Pregnant Then Screwed, after I experienced pregnancy discrimination in 2013 by a charity in Newcastle, I have heard from thousands of women who have suffered similar experiences. Despite many advances in gender equality, maternal discrimination is rife and discussion remains taboo. Our protest is an opportunity for us to collectively come together, destigmatise the issue and have our voices heard.”
‘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
Jo Hodson, Newcastle’s Pregnant then Screwed lead adds, “Last year, the government in Westminster commissioned a report into pregnancy discrimination and its findings were alarming, however, since its publication efforts have stalled. We are therefore, standing with our sisters across the UK to demand change, and transform the landscape for women and families in Newcastle”
It is particularly prevalent that this march will take place in Newcastle, after the Equality and Human Rights Commission found the North East to be the worst region for pregnancy and maternity discrimination in the UK.
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.