On the 29th of October over 600 mummies will be marching across Cardiff to demand an urgent intervention from the Government for the shocking treatment of mothers and families. The protest, which is led by Pregnant Then Screwed, will march across 11 regions bringing over 14,000 mothers and families together nationwide for this united call to arms for urgent government reform of childcare, parental leave and flexible working.

The ‘March of The Mummies’ protest is Halloween-themed to demonstrate the frightening lack of consideration mothers have been granted by the Government. The demonstration will march across: London, Birmingham, Manchester, Bristol, Leeds, Cardiff, Glasgow, Newcastle, Norwich, Belfast and Exeter.

The protest will start at the Aneurin Bevan Statue at 10am, and will wrap up at Cardiff Central Library by 1pm.

A stellar speaker line up will be joining the march including:

  • Angharad Edwards a motivational speaker and Agile coach

  • Bethan Sayed who was elected to the Senedd for Plaid Cymru in South Wales West in 2007 and stood down last year after giving birth to her baby Idris in 2020, due to the inflexibility for parents in politics

  • Evelyn James, campaign manager for Project Diverse5050 WEN, she is a legal practitioner with a masters in human rights, gender, and conflict.

  • Councilor Jennifer Burke Davies, the cabinet member for Culture, Parks and Events at Cardiff Council.

  • Rowan Whitehead, an aerial and circus teacher and performer, who runs ‘Bridging the Gap’ offering peer support for women and non-binary folks struggling with inequality in the household.

  • Sarah Rees, a Pregnant Then Screwed volunteer and now Head of an International NGO in Wales, where she continues to campaign on feminist issues.

  • Stacey Grant-Canham,  a mother, lecturer and founder of Black & Beech a feminist fashion business creating responsible fashion and raising women up.

  • Charlotte Murphy, an activist, campaigner and founder of a children’s charity in honour of her son to raise allergy awareness.

Celebrities joining the nationwide march include; Author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, presenter Kate Quilton and actors, Bronagh Waugh, and Sarah Solemani. MP’s will also be attending the march, including Stella Creasy, Clive Lewis and Munira Wilson.

Joeli Brearley, Founder and CEO of Pregnant Then Screwed, comments, “Mothers from all over the UK have come together today because enough is enough. We want urgent progress on women’s rights. It’s the 21st Century, yet 54,000 mothers are being pushed out of the workforce every year for simply daring to procreate. We have the second most expensive childcare in the OECD, the third worst ranking maternity benefit and the worst ranking paternity benefit in Europe. Data from the ONS shows that women of childbearing age are dropping like flies from the workforce. The childcare sector is in a mess; thousands of nurseries have collapsed this year alone. We have had enough.”

The national protest is demanding reform on three key issues that are pushing mothers out of the workforce and into poverty:

  • Increased funding for the childcare sector to enable affordable, high quality childcare for all children

  • Ring-fenced and properly paid maternity and paternity leave

  • All jobs to be flexible by default

Recent Pregnant Then Screwed data has revealed the harsh reality that mother’s are currently facing: extortionate childcare costs, pitiful financial support for new mothers and fathers, and a lack of good quality part time and flexible work. In fact, a recent survey revealed that 31% of new parents will not be able to afford to have any more children, and 48% of pregnant mothers will have to cut their maternity leave short due to financial hardship. Shockingly, 60.5% of mothers who had an abortion in the last 5 years stated that childcare costs were a factor in their decision to terminate a wanted pregnancy, and 22 women said they had turned to sex work this year to be able to pay their childcare bill. 43% of mothers are considering leaving their job as a direct result of childcare costs.

Joeli Brearley, CEO and Founder of Pregnant Then Screwed, continues,

‘’We’ve got women terminating pregnancies, thousands more deciding not to have children, or not to have more children. Women falling out of the workforce in droves; and children being pushed into poverty – What for? All because of an unaffordable, inaccessible, dysfunctional childcare sector that has been neglected for the past decade by this Government; a number of broken promises about making flexible working the default; and a parental leave system that simply isn’t working. Inaction by this Government on these core issues ultimately makes us all poorer; if parents are unable to financially contribute to the economy then we miss out on skills and income, whilst dishing out benefits to keep families from destitution. It makes no sense. If you want us to work so that we can financially contribute to both our family and the economy, then give us the social infrastructure to be able to do just that’’

She continues: ‘’ The recent mini budget made it very clear that this Government neither understands nore cares about the challenges mothers are experiencing. Women’s economic empowerment hinges on a system that works for us, and the government needs to start taking this, us, seriously. We are calling for an end to the shambolic support system that is failing mothers and families everywhere. We want to see change now.”

To sign up for your local march please head here. 

*Image credit: Pooks And Gooks*