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2017/ 12/07 Joint call from civil society to support the swift progress on Work-Life Balance Directive

Today MMM with 9 other civil society networks and organisations representing millions of children, young people, adults and families across the EU issue a joint statement asking the Council to continue negotiating on the work life balance directive proposal without watering it down and remove any barriers slowing down its approval.

On 26 April 2017, the European Commission proposed a Directive to “support work-life balance for parents and carers”, a topic that will be on the agenda of the upcoming EPSCO Council (Employment and social affairs Council) of 7 December 2017.

We have been calling for such an initiative for a number of years and we welcome the proposal because we strongly believe it could have a real impact. The current legal and institutional framework fails to sufficiently address problems faced by parents and carers on a daily basis, and does not provide adequate solutions for the needs of modern societies (i.e. an ageing population, the gender pay and pension gap, and equality in the labour market).

The proposal for a Directive on Work-Life Balance is the right way forward and it must now be swiftly approved and followed up with enforcement and monitoring. Some of the measures included are particularly helpful, such as the introduction of paid paternity leave of ten days, paid carers’ leave, non-transferable paid parental leave (at sick leave level), and the right to request flexible working conditions. These will bring real changes to the lives of many Europeans.

The full statement 

2017/11/25 Statement on International Day on the Elimination of Violence against Women: Time to stop obstetric violence

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On this 25th November, La Goccia Magica, CiaoLapo, the Italian Obstetric Violence Observatory and Make Mothers Matter (MMM) spotlight the need to promote respectful maternity care in full compliance with the World Health Organization (WHO) statement.[1] We urge Governments to eliminate all forms of obstetric violence, institutional[2] and against women, according to article 12 of the CEDAW Convention.[3]

Many women across the globe still experience disrespectful, abusive or neglectful treatment during pregnancy, childbirth and postpartum care. Women in vulnerable situations are particularly likely to experience disrespectful and abusive treatments.

Although, in some countries (Venezuela, Argentina, Mexico, Chile, Brazil) laws are in place to eliminate obstetric violence, in the rest of the world the phenomenon is not even acknowledged. It is almost impossible for women to report it, as it is considered “normal”, both in medical as well as in legal contexts.

The first Italian survey[4] conducted by Doxa Institute in September 2017, commissioned by national civil society associations of mothers, found that one in three Italian women felt excluded from fundamental choices related to her childbirth.

Finally, we are launching a 16 day campaign until International Human Rights Day on 10th December 2017 to end obstetric violence around the world. To participate, please use #obstetricviolence and #orangetheworld because every woman has the right to the highest attainable standard of health, including the right to dignified, respectful health care throughout pregnancy and childbirth, as well as the right to be free from violence and discrimination.

The full statement 

2017/11/20 International Children’s Day: Over 30,000 stateless children in Daesh deserve a future

On this International Day of the Rights of the Child, Make Mothers Matter (MMM) and the mothers it represents all over the world urge the governments of 25 countries where mothers cannot pass their nationality to their children to change their legislation. It is time to end child statelessness by registering all births to ensure equal rights to all children.
 
31,000 women who were pregnant under Daesh are now mothers to children who find themselves without valid documents and on the brink of statelessness. The UNHCR reports that already 130,000 persons are stateless in Iraq, specifying that the most vulnerable are the children of Iraqi mothers and non-national fathers.
 
Therefore, in accordance with Article 7 of UN Convention on the Rights of the Child on birth registration, we urge the Iraqi government to register the births of this new generation of stateless children in order eliminate the institutional violence and discrimination.
 
To read the full statement

2017/11/15 MMM invited as speaker at the #ECOG17 congress to discuss about child obesity

The European Childhood Obesity Group (ECOG) opened on 15th November its 27th annual congress. More than 200 experts, from over 30 countries and the most renowned research centers in the world, gathered for 3 days in Rome, to discuss how to prevent and treat overweight and obese children. Olalla Michelena, Secretary General of the EU Delegation of Make Mothers Matter was invited as a speaker.
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At the congress, ECOG, in collaboration with  Make Mothers Matter, presented the project to conduct a European survey aiming at analysing and understanding attitudes and behaviours of European mothers and families that face the issues of obesity and overweight on a daily basis.
 
Mr Fabio Lavarone also presented their successful mothers peer-to peer programme in low socio economic status school setting in Southern Italy. It consists on training mothers at the school of their children who then mentor other mothers in tackling overweight and child obesity. In the Southern Regions, there is prevalence of 40% of child obesity.
 
Obesity is a phenomenon that has reached epidemic proportions. According to the World Health Organization, globally 18% of children and adolescents (aged between 5 and 19) are overweight or obese. In Italy, this percentage goes up to 36,8%1.Obesity is a complex phenomenon that requires a multidisciplinary approach for the definition of prevention and treatment programs that are adequate and efficient.

The ECOG Congress was organised with the patronage of the Italian Minister of Health and of the Istituto Superiore di Sanità and has received the institutional support of several scientific societies in Italy and from across Europe. 
 
In order to access the full ECOG press release

2017/ 06/ 7 & 8 MMM at the European Development Days

Several members of  MMM’ team attended the European Development Days which took place in Brussels on the 7th and 8th June: Johanna Schima (Policy officer), Chiara Dedeken (intern) and Abbigail Sorlie (intern) and Olalla Michelena (SG at EU delegation). It is Europe’s leading forum on development and international cooperation organised by the European Commission presenting Europe’s commitment to a fairer, more sustainable future. We took the opportunity to participate in several debates to convey that mothers are an untapped resource which can be used to tackle a number of challenges such as health promotion, peacebuilding, education etc to reach the 2030 sustainable agenda. We also participated in the Save the children video on What should the EU do for children? (minute 2:38)

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