The YWCA hopes to establish its image as a campaigning body with its first offensive, launched this week.
Called ‘Respect Young Mums’, it aims to challenge perceptions that young women get pregnant to access benefits and council housing, and that there is an epidemic of teenage pregnancy.
It aims to demonstrate how young mothers are locked into poverty by discrimination in the education system which, it argues, doesn’t provide sufficient home education and child-friendly facilities.
The YWCA has drafted in The Forster Company to manage the seven-month drive. It kicks off with a media relations push using positive stories about young mums. It will also lobby politicians for equal rights and benefits for young mothers, create a website where visitors can sign a ‘young mums charter’, advertise in the education press and devise a photo exhibition to tour the country in 2005.
The campaign will also target health professionals, including midwives, to crack down on prejudices.