‘Mothers for a Progressive Alliance’ was launched on 18th November, 2017 with the backing of Compass. The group is part of the Progressive Alliance movement. It will put at the forefront mothers as a grouping in society with specific needs worthy of consideration, as opposed to being passive recipients of state decisions, at local or national level, adverse to our needs.
‘Mothers for a Progressive Alliance’ will look to redress this shortcoming. It will raise awareness of the length and breadth of issues that affect mothers. There are numerous mother-focussed groups already working around the country and mainly in single issue areas such as domestic violence. ‘Mothers for a Progressive Alliance’ is not issue specific but seeks to bring together all issues that affect mothers.
I came up with the idea of founding a Progressive Alliance movement designed specifically for mothers because what affects mothers on a day to day basis in the face of austerity and severe funding cuts needs a progressive solution. Frances Foley and Neal Lawson were supportive of the idea, for which I am hugely grateful, and the movement was born.
Austerity is an ideological practice chosen as the preferred option to dealing with the 2007 financial crash. A centre-left Keynesian based approach, instead, would have enabled a rights-based solution. These political choices made since 2010, mainly by men in power, without regard for any impact on women and children have made life for mothers much harder.
Hearing a mother who is severely constrained by circumstances beyond her control talk about giving up hope on her ambitions for her child is heart-breaking, but it is a call for justice.
The Progressive Alliance is a stepping stone to achieving a ‘Good Society’ which mothers strive towards. There is nothing idealistic about wanting one’s child to grow up in a fair society. The concept of a Progressive Alliance is elastic enough to incorporate the diversity of maternal identities that exist, and is the perfect philosophical and political framework in which to build a mother platform.
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Jane Chelliah blogs at https://www.ambitiousmamas.