Protecting human rights in childbirth

Registered Charity Number 1151152

Equality and inclusion at Birthrights

As a human rights charity, inclusion and anti-discrimination is core to our ethos, and our services are available to everyone who is pregnant, regardless of race, background or how they identify. We champion the rights of those who face particular discrimination in maternity care – such as disabled people, women experiencing complex disadvantage and people of colour. We are committed to anti-racism and take an intersectional approach to the multiple ways people experience discrimination. Lived experience shapes all we do. We have undertaken training with The Queer Birth Club on LGBT+ competency and JMB Consulting on anti-racism.

Our inclusion statement

We believe human rights are for everyone. We reject any suggestion that respecting pregnant non-binary and trans people diminishes women’s rights. We will use both ‘women’ and ‘birthing people’ to describe individuals’ experiences and rights in maternity care. 

We want to be an accessible, inclusive and safe space for everyone who needs us. The Board and staff are unanimous in our view that human rights and inclusion go hand in hand, and Birthrights is here to support all pregnant women and birthing people.

We will challenge abusive or discriminatory comments or behaviour that are not in line with our inclusive values. We will not work with individuals and organisations who do not behave respectfully and will always challenge, either privately or publicly if appropriate, those in the maternity and birth rights movement who speak or act in a discriminatory way.

Our inquiry into racial injustice

Systemic racism in maternity care is an urgent human rights issue. For too long, evidence and narratives about why racial inequities in maternal outcomes persist have focussed on Black and Brown bodies being the problem – ‘defective’, ‘other’, a risk to be managed. The first year of our inquiry into racial injustice culminated in report Systemic Racism, Not Broken Bodies and five calls to action for the maternity system to:

  • Commit to be an anti-racist organisation
  • Decolonise maternity curriculums and guidance
  • Make Black, Brown, and mixed ethnicity women and birthing people decision-makers in their care and the wider maternity system
  • Create safe, inclusive workforce cultures
  • Dismantle structural barriers to racial equity through national policy change

Our recruitment policies

We want to ensure we have a diverse team with a range of lived and professional
experiences. When we recruit, we welcome applications from people of colour, LGBTQ+ people and disabled people and use positive action under the Equality Act 2010 to appoint from these underrepresented groups if two candidates are equally qualified.

We have signed the Show the Salary pledge, adopted the Halo Code and support the #NonGraduatesWelcome campaign.

About Birthrights

Birthrights is the UK charity that champions respectful maternity care by protecting human rights. We provide advice and legal information to women and birthing people, train healthcare professionals to deliver rights-respecting care and campaign to change maternity policy and systems.