Mothers' Declaration of Rights

The work of mothering can have enormous benefits; the beneficiaries of this work are not only the mother and child, but families and society as well. The work of mothering also creates enormous demands. It requires inordinate physical and psychological energy, and is often performed with limited social support and access to historical wisdom and current research. It may have long term and often unanticipated negative economic repercussions for the woman and her family. We believe that mothers have the right to perform this vital and essential work in a supportive environment, one that acknowledges the value her work and accounts for her economic, social, educational, psychological and physical needs. Every mother, every child, every family deserves nothing less. Therefore, we believe in the following rights:


  • To have unpaid caregiving conceptualized as work and valued accordingly by society (i.e. included in the census, accounted for in GDP calculations, counted in welfare rights, credited toward social security benefit calculations)
  • To pursue occupational goals as well as family ones (i.e. availability of good part time jobs, childcare subsidies, workweek reduction/flexibility)
  • To have training to upgrade or optimize her skills as well as childcare provisions to facilitate utilization of training opportunities


  • To have a Mothers Center in every community - comfortable and safe community space
  • To have safe, affordable childcare options available to any family who needs it
  • To be entitled to parenting support services
  • To lead a life free from violence and discrimination


  • To have more influence/voice in the areas of maternal health, birthing practices, women’s health and research
  • To be entitled to information about maternal and child development
  • To have the information about the work of women/mothers who went before us

Psychological and Physical

  • To value mother knowledge gained from the attunement to self and child
  • To acknowledge the value of maternal experience to the growth & development of the mother
  • To support the emotional health of pre- and post-partum women
  • Access to adequate health and mental health care before, during and after pregnancy & child birth to ensure optimal outcomes for infant and maternal health

February 29, 2004
National Association of Mothers' Centers © 2013