Mother’s Day protest against maternity discrimination
Mother’s Day 2018 saw the charity, Maternity Action, launch a new campaign highlighting the discrimination faced by mothers in Britain.
The campaign, the largest in the charity’s history, calls on the Government to tackle the problem of women forced out of their jobs as a result of maternity discrimination. The issue is said to affect a staggering 54,000 women each year and Maternity Action wants the Prime Minister to announce solid measures to put an end to this unfair treatment.
Research undertaken by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) has found that unhelpful attitudes among employers may well be a contributory factor in this discrimination. A third of those replying to an EHRC survey believed that expectant mothers, or those who had not long given birth, were not as interested in career progression as their childless counterparts.
The same survey revealed that 40 per cent of employers claimed to have seen at least one woman take advantage of her pregnancy, while 60 per cent believed women should be made to reveal their pregnancy during recruitment. Another study found that 40 per cent of employers actively avoided hiring any women of childbearing age.
The launch of Maternity Action’s campaign was marked with the unveiling of an art installation entitled #54k, with the 54,000 jobs lost each year represented by white carnations.
The charity’s director, Rosalind Bragg, said: “It is 2018, yet one of the biggest barriers to gender equality in the workplace is the discrimination that mothers face. We want everyone to add their voice, sign our petition and encourage Government to act now to effect lasting change.”