‘Stop writing women out of history’ Hampstead and Kilburn MP tells David Cameron
PUBLISHED: 11:47 27 November 2015 | UPDATED: 11:47 27 November 2015
Mothers’ maiden names should be listed on marriage certificates alongside fathers’ names, Hampstead and Kilburn’s MP has told Parliament.
Tulip Siddiq, whose first child is due in April next year, used Prime Minister’s Question Time (PMQs) to raise the issue in the House of Commons.
The Labour MP told David Cameron: “The government and I disagree about much of what constitutes progress on gender equality, but I agreed with the Prime Minister last year when he pledged to change the law to include mothers on marriage certificates.
“I have heard nothing since.
“With the fast-approaching birth of my daughter, I would like to be valued equally in her life with my husband, so will the Prime Minister take the important and symbolic step to ensure that mothers are not written out of history?”
The Prime Minister replied: “This is an area on which the honourable Lady and I agree.
“My understanding is that proposals for that legislation have gone to the relevant committee in government, and she has made an articulate case for why such a bill should be included in the next session.”
As the law stands, there is no space for mothers’ maiden names on marriage certificates, but a campaign was launched last year to change that.
A petition received 70,000 signatures, and the matter received media attention and a Parliamentary debate.
The petition was started by Ailsa Burkhimsha Sadler, who was inspired by Camden campaigner, Caroline Criardo Perez.
Ms Burkhimsha Sadler’s petition said: “Marriage should not be seen as a business transaction between the father of the bride and the father of the groom.
“This seemingly small inequality is part of a much wider pattern of inequality.
“Women are routinely silenced and written out of history.
“There is space for the name of the father of the bride and the father of the groom and their occupations. On civil partnership certificates there is space for mothers.
“On Scottish and Northern Irish marriage certificates there are spaces for mothers.”
MPs get to ask questions directly of the Prime Minister only quite rarely, but PMQs have proved to be like waiting for a bus for Ms Siddiq - she has waited six months, and two have come along at once.
Last week, she was able to ask a question about junior doctors and their threatened strike action, which was her first ever chance to speak during the weekly PMQs.