On 21 September, Reclaim the Agenda and Women’s Aid Federation NI organised a protest in Belfast City Centre against the latest welfare cuts that target low income families. 100s showed to support the cause including women sector and centre workers, Alliance for Choice, Belfast Feminist Network, Reclaim the Night, Trade Unions, Amnesty International, NICCY, NUS-USI and individuals. The campaign is calling for the public to join the women’s movement and stand up to the UK government’s ‘two child cap’ policy that restricts tax credits and Universal Credit to a maximum of two children per family.
The government has also put in place a ‘rape clause’ which is an exemption for any woman who can prove to a 3rd party assessor that she has become pregnant as a result of rape, including a stipulation that she must name the child conceived in this way on the application form. This is particularly problematic in Northern Ireland with our laws regarding crime disclosure.