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Mother's Name included on Marriage Certificates

by Michael Ford last modified 02 Apr, 2019 04:28 PM

British couples will be able to include their mothers' names on their marriage certificate under a change in law passed last week.

Mother's Name included on Marriage Certificates

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Church of England leaders also praised the change, hailed as a step forward for women's rights, saying the previous system, that only allows space for fathers' names, demeaned women and was out of step with modern times.

"We have finally achieved tangible progress towards the equal treatment of both parents," said the Bishop of St Albans, Alan Smith in a joint statement with Caroline Spelman, a lawmaker who works closely with the church and had campaigned for the change.

"Only fathers' names were formerly recorded when marriages were registered, a custom unchanged since 1837," Ms Spelman said.

"This clear and historic injustice reflected the time when children and wives were considered property of men and it is high time for this to be corrected."

"A country's laws set the tone for how it treats its people," said Niki Kandirikirira, the Head of Programmes at women's rights group Equality Now, who also said the system had long attracted protest from women's rights activists who said it had treated women as second class citizens.

"Something like this may seem like a small legal inequality but in reality it is part of a much wider pattern of inequality rooted in patriarchy and discrimination against women."

The new act will also open up civil partnerships - previously only open to same-sex couples - to heterosexual couples by the end of the year.

"We have achieved equality for all couples in relationships," said Martin Loat, the Chairman of Equal Civil Partnerships, in a statement.

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