Open Letter From ELLEUK To The Minister For Women And Equalities

Marriage certificates don't currently reflect modern day Britain. They currently only list your father's name and his trade. Let's get this changed.

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To The Right Honourable Justine Greening MP, Minister for Women and Equalities.

This is an open letter from ELLE UK to ask for your support.

Every week in the UK around 4,500 couples marry.

Every week 4,500 marriage certificates are written out and every week the names of the 9,000 fathers of the brides and grooms are noted along with their 'trade'.

There is no section for our mothers' names and trades; a constant, anachronistic reminder that marriage was once a business transaction between two men: the father of the bride and the father of the groom.

This may seem a mere clerical matter, but along with the portraits on our bank notes and the pages of our passports, this small inequality is indicative of much bigger inequalities.

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This may seem a mere clerical matter, but along with the portraits on our bank notes and the pages of our passports, this small inequality is indicative of much bigger inequalities.

Every marriage certificate filed is another example of our governing body backing a patriarchal society. The irony being that in this patriarchal society, at least 25% of households in the UK are single parent households, and only 13.5% of those are single Dads.

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The current legislation is outdated; it's another reminder that women are routinely ignored and often written out of history.

In 2014 a petition regarding the addition of mothers' names and trades to marriage registers was signed by over 70,000 people. In a speech on 18th August 2014, it prompted the (then) Prime Minister, David Cameron to state that the Government was going to 'address another inequality in marriage'.

Two years later we're still waiting.

This is another inequality in marriage, once again one that doesn't reflect the true diversity of families today.

Rather than resort to tired gender stereotypes, surely the box that currently asks for your father's name and trade should simply read 'parent'?

We need some help on the inside.

Let's make this change.

ELLE UK

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