Any parent of a newborn baby knows it's hard to stay awake, let alone talk to focus on something else. Maternity leave matters - it's good for our health, our childrenand our economy.
It is a peculiarity of our legislature that as a member of Parliament, I do not have any labor rights - we can do laws, but we do not impose these particular laws on ourselves. Therefore, I found myself in the grip of morphine while speaking to ministers in Afghanistan, as I had just given birth to my second child, to ensure that the concerns of my constituents could be addressed. heard. Although it is illegal to force a woman to work for the first two weeks after giving birth, the lack of maternity coverage meant that with three murders, heavy flooding and a cost-of-life crisis. life, it just wasn't possible to turn off my email or phone.
The Parliament refused me maternity cover on the grounds that democracy does not require anyone else to replace me. With little support from the authorities or even from my own political party, I worked the best I could while managing the needs of my now 13 week old son. This is why I was baffled to learn that I couldn't take her to parliament with me. As my son slept peacefully, soothed by the excitement that only a discussion of financial regulation can generate, his presence at a debate clearly upset some in an institution that previously seemed relaxed on such matters. It now appears that the recently revised House of Commons rulebook specifies that children may not enter chambers - thus parliament has, to date, put pRead efforts in writing r ules about this as second jobs.
Some argue that it is a privilege to take your kids at the office and he's out of touch to suggest that this should be okay, regardless of being denied that flexibility. Others recognize that this makes an already difficult combination of caring commitments almost impossible. Whether it's the provision of maternity blanket or the rules about where kids can go - with some MPs berated for taking toddlers to the tea room between votes - these "courtesies and customs" have evolved, rather than being designed to respond to modern times. It's a chicken-and-egg situation - few mothers with young children are elected, which means there is little need to reconsider these rules in the first place.
This is hard not about me- frankly, it is too late to recover the precious first weeks with my son. Those suffering the most are the people in my circumion of Walthamstow - deprived of a voice in parliament by archaic rules, met by a tired and exhausted mom in their circumion. Likewise, the brilliant women who decide to either delay their political careers or abandon them so that our politics miss a source of talent as we accept this status quo.
If I had employment rights, I could invoke my legal right not to be discriminated against while breastfeeding and to have proper maternity coverage, which means I could take maternity leave. However, these rights are no guarantee that employers will respect them. During the pandemic, many mothers, especially those with low incomes and from minority communities, were the preever to be on leave or fired and now have difficulty finding childcare because providers have gone out of business.
Welcome that the The president asked the Procedures Committee to investigate, but it is not yet clear how long it will take or what its mission will be. Meanwhile, political parties are preparing to select candidates for the next general election - offering the opportunity to ensure more mothers have a seat at the decision-making table. In collaboration with the association Enceinte then Baisee, we have set up the This Mum Votes project to defend policies aimed at helping parents in all workplacesgarlic - including paid parental leave and universal child care - and to fund mothers to run for office to defend them.
This n doesn't have to be like that. Whether in News- Zealand , Canada or Europe, parliaments around the world have shown that a family-friendly legislature is possible. There are thousands of mothers who have something valuable to add to our policy, and they want to come forward. For now, they see the mother of all parliaments discouraging mothers and rightly wondering if they will be welcome.