Pregnant Then Screwed

In June 2017 the results were published of a research programme commissioned by The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) and the Equality and Human Rights Commission to investigate the prevalence and nature of pregnancy discrimination and disadvantage in the workplace.  This report showed that every year 54,000 women lose their job for getting pregnant, a figure has almost doubled in the last 10 years.

It also demonstrated that 1 mother in 5 felt they had experienced harassment or negative comments related to pregnancy or flexible working from their employer and /or colleagues, and that 1 in 10 had been discouraged by their employer from attending ante-natal classes. It also showed how difficult it is for those suffering discrimination because of their pregnancy found it to access justice, with less than 1% raising a tribunal claim.

And not surprisingly the reaction of the government was to say thank you very much for telling us about it and then to take the usual action of putting the report to one side and hoping it will go away. Nothing has happened and campaign group Pregnant Then Screwed decided to give them a reminder.

That reaction had an unusually long gestation period and only emerged kicking and screaming 15 months later, at Halloween and wrapped not in swaddling clothes but in bandages with the odd saw or axe in the head in best zombie fashion.  It also came with some clever captions and posters and a tablet with various messages including ‘Stop Ovary Acting‘.

Although it would be easy to make fun of such vital issues as ‘Creches on Film Sets’ it is of course an issue that effects all women, not just those in well paid middle-class jobs, and though those on minimum wage have less to lose, its loss may be even more devastating. I think I was one of the 82,965 supporters who signed the petition that was being carried in a box on the protest.

It obviously is important that employers make it possible for women to work and not to discriminate against them for being pregnant or being mothers. As the organisers of the protest stated, “the Government has stalled and stalled, paying lip service to the issue but doing naff all to improve the outlook for working mums. And in that time 70,000 women have been pushed out of their job for daring to want both a family and a career.

Many of those taking part had gone to some lengths to dress up for the occasion and there was plenty to photograph – and plenty of photographers there to do the business.  You can see quite a few of the pictures that I took on My London Diary.

Pregnant Then Screwed March of the Mummies

There are no adverts on this site and it receives no sponsorship, and I like to keep it that way. But it does take a considerable amount of my time and thought, and if you enjoy reading it, a small donation – perhaps the cost of a beer – would be appreciated.

My London Diary : London Photos : Hull : River Lea/Lee Valley : London’s Industrial Heritage

All photographs on this and my other sites, unless otherwise stated, are taken by and copyright of Peter Marshall, and are available for reproduction or can be bought as prints.

To order prints or reproduce images


Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.