Representatives of GPLM have met all political parties to discuss how best to serve mothers and families in Gibraltar.
Gibraltar Pro Life Movement (GPLM) has produced a family policy document entitled ‘Creating a Village’ detailing over twenty five ways of fostering a more inclusive, caring and fairer society in Gibraltar.
Commenting on the production of the document, spokesperson Clare Bensadon said:
“As the proverb goes: it takes a village to raise a child. We hope that our family policy document will help nurture and preserve the strong family values the Gibraltarian community has been built on and so far enjoyed.”
“Over the last year, our working group has been meeting with various members, families and organisations in our community in order to better understand the real needs in our ‘village’. These countless hours of discussions and our own work in GPLM with the CareLink programme has resulted in the amalgamation of ideas and needs as detailed in the family policy document .”
The document raises issues of importance for families in Gibraltar including proposing changes to maternity/paternity leave, more support for low income families, improvements to the adoption process and more support for those with special needs.
A particularly important recommendation is not only to give equal opportunities to new mothers and fathers in regards to maternity/paternity leave, but to increase the statutory maternity/paternity leave and financial support for young families by way of increasing the maternity allowance. As it stands today, the maternity allowance is a weekly payment of just over £87 for a total of 18 weeks. The aim of policies such as this one is to relieve parents of financial worries during what can be a very difficult, though rewarding, time for the family and allows the focus to be on the development and care of the new baby during a critical bonding period. It will also help small businesses better support their employees maternity/paternity plans without the huge financial obligation of paid maternity/paternity.
Some of recommendations outlined in the document include giving the right to leave for working mothers to nurse their child, an array of suggestions to improve and better support our mental health and a recommendation for the government to cover the legal costs associated with adoption.
Chairperson of GPLM Karenza Morillo said that any acceptance of the pro-familiy policies outlined in ‘Creating a Village’, while welcome, must accompany a strong commitment to protect unborn babies and their mothers in Gibraltar.
Representatives of GPLM have met with party representatives in recent days to discuss the ideas presented in the document in more detail.