From its beginning Mothers Union advocated the benefit to society of stable family life and marriage.
Our founder, Mary Sumner, was from a wealthy, connected, family and exploited her high profile contacts when she campaigned over children's issues. She was in contact with other like minded individuals and organisations and Mothers' Union worked alongside them to achieve changes in society.
As our numbers grew so did our influence and since 1913 we have had a special committee to watch all the bills in parliament and consider their effect on children and families.
We continue to be involved in this way and are able to exert influence by commenting on the bills as they are put forward (questionnaires and consultation documents are made available for Mothers' Union members to comment on when they appear) and by lobbying our MPs.
Mothers' Union has a seat on the United Nations and takes part in the annual United Nations Commission on the Status of Women. Mothers Union is committed to raising awareness about gender based violence as a humans rights issue.
Mothers' Union will continue to respond to injustice through faithful prayer and to help transform family life through relevant campaigning and practical action.
Our campaigns have included:
MU campaigned for significant changes to the marriage law to protect young girls from early marriage.
MU began to focus on the effect of the media on children and set up a cinema sub-committee and Cinema Watch.
Media Watch was set up to protect children from unsuitable material on TV, in advertising and magazines as well as in the cinema.
1990s and 2000s
Flexible Families Campaign - involved in the fight to achieve flexible working for parents and carers.
The Bye Buy Childhood Campaign - MU looked at the commercialisation and sexualisation of childhood, including the influence of modern media,(television, internet, video games and advertising). Our, then, Chief Executive (Reg Bailey) led the government enquiry.
16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence. The campaign has been running for 25 years and is co-ordinated by the Center for Women's Global Leadership. Though MU members have been involved for many years, most notably in Uganda, MU as a whole began taking part in 2013.
What can we do in the Branches?
>> Bye Buy Childhood
|Our Bye Buy Childhood campaign was launched in 2010 to raise awareness of the increasing levels of marketing and sexual imagery aimed at and accessible to children. The campaign has already brought about a change in both industry and government and we hope to continue its impact over the coming years.
|Bye Buy Childhood Engagement Pack
|Our poster resource page has two posters for Bye Buy Childhood.
>> Labelled for Life
A development from the highly successful Bye Buy Childhood campaign is Mothers' Union's Labelled for Life publication to help families deal with the commercial and sexualised influences their children may face.
booklet - £2 from Chris Mahony or Mary Sumner House. Updated Autumn 2016
>> Awareness raising
Internet safety - hold conversations with our children or grandchildren about staying safe online.
PSHE - Personal, social, health and economic education.
>> 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Based ViolenceFact sheets, prayers, church service, resources and information on a Global Moment are available from www.mothersunion.org