MMM values the contributions of each and every intern that it places within its advocacy framework. We take a behind-the-scenes look at what our current team is up to.
We asked 3 questions to each of the 5 interns who are currently working with our delegations at the EU in Brussels and at the UN in Geneva:
- Why did the MMM mission resonate with you?
- How will working at MMM assist you in your future goals?
- Sum up MMM in just a few words, describing how YOU see the NGO
Here below are their individual answers:
I have been involved in conducting in-depth research on the subject of Equal Pay for the Public Consultation of the European Commission.
- I strongly believe we cannot apply the exact same body of rules to men and women. Denying the inherent differences between them leads to another form of discrimination. Because motherhood is a specific feminine feature, expecting mothers to behave like men is a mistake. I was really impressed with the way MMM empowers and protects mothers. The recognition of the economic value of the huge unpaid care work carried out by mothers is a message worth spreading. Motherhood is at risk in our society, where everything is measured and must be profitable. As the 2011 ‘What Matters to Mothers’ Survey showed, mothers want time, choice and recognition. We need committed actors to make sure mothers’ voices are considered and heard in policy making and more globally, in public opinion. This is what MMM does, and that’s why I applied to intern with the organization.
- Working at Make Mothers Matter helped me to scale up my opinion, to think about concrete solutions without wasting time complaining about unfair situations, to realize the huge potential such organisations such as MMM have in influencing policymakers, and finally it gave me some hope to see there are people using their power of influence at highest levels for the right causes. It gave me great pleasure to take part in their Equal Pay project. I realized how important it was for me to be doing something useful for others, and in accordance with my values.
- MMM is empowering and protecting mothers for a better world. Making motherhood great again is justly at the core of their concerns. MMM understands that mother-friendly, and more widely, family-friendly measures are a necessary step to a healthy and economically viable society.
- Holder of a master’s degree in law with a specialization in human rights and public international law, I have always been driven by the need to promote and defend human rights. The work of MMM, in empowering mothers across the world, does not only influence their lives but has a tremendous impact on their communities. In acknowledging their strategic social importance and economic value, mothers become key partners and changemakers that can actively participate in the UN 2030 Agenda. The respect for their rights, therefore, goes beyond an obligation towards international law and human rights treaties and turns them into powerful actors in the realization of human rights and sustainable development goals.
- My past internship and current volunteering at MMM have given me the opportunity to participate in advocacy and lobbying activities. Having contributed to draft a guide to newly arrived asylum seekers in Belgium, I’m now supporting the team in an answer to the European Commission’s public consultation on the gender pay gap and in drafting a publication related to this topic.
Not only have these experiences allowed me to better understand the functioning of an NGO, but they have also taught me how to advocate for humanitarian and social causes by directly diving into MMM’s projects.
My experience at MMM fits perfectly with the continuity of my career aspirations in human rights, advocacy, and international development
- MMM is a group of hardworking and dedicated individuals, mostly acting on a volunteer basis. Its missions in empowering mothers is crucial, not only in developing countries where support in health, security and in the economy is often critical but also in more developed countries where mothers lack recognition for their unpaid care work which is, in part, responsible for the gender pay gap.
I carried out extensive research on the Belgian pension system and the problematic issues surrounding the gender-pension gap in its globality. I will now be working on the EU Commission’s public consultation about the current situation regarding gender equality in the EU and the priorities for the next 5 years. I will also help with the consultation of UN Special Rapporteur on violence against women relating to human rights in childbirth.
- Gender equality is a subject that I truly care about, that’s why I chose to do my thesis on the problems of « gender and law ». The MMM mission spoke to me because the organisation represents everything I believe in: creating a society where being a mother, or a woman in general, is a strength and not a liability.
- Working at MMM is my first professional experience and with the help of the whole team, I have finally been able to put to use all that I learned during my five years of university. It sometimes feels like I learned more since the beginning of my internship three months ago than in all those years at university.
- MMM is, first and foremost, a group of people with a purpose and deeply held beliefs, who keep on advocating relentlessly to achieve positive results. It is an NGO driven by the idea that change, no matter how small, is possible if you fight for it and that’s why MMM is important for me.
I have worked on the issue of maternity leave in Belgium. Our goal on this topic is to make the Belgian law change because it is lacking in many ways and also to see if our national law complies with the EU law.
- I believe that improving the status of mothers is important because they are at the root of education all over the world and it is a huge driver of change when it comes to mentalities. If we want people to evolve and think more about our future by caring for sustainable development for example – but also for the economy, solving conflicts and so on – education should be the focus of our attention and thus, mothers too.
- I have always wanted to work in the field of European or international law. Interning for MMM comforted me with my choice. Defending the interest of the community is as challenging as it is gratifying and that is what has interested me – choosing to learn law on a bigger scale rather than national law. I hope the experience I am gaining during my time with MMM will allow me to pursue that goal.
- MMM is not just helping mothers. What I have seen during my internship is an NGO that cares about the balance in people’s everyday lives, putting the wellness of entire families – not just mothers – above all else. From the gender pay gap which concerns salaries to raising children, to dealing with the elderly when speaking about “care”, pursuing more environmental goals with sustainable development and so on. MMM projects are or at least should be a concern for everyone.
I am a master student at Leiden University and a summer intern at the MMM representation to the UN in Geneva. During my internship, I will be mostly working on the topic of mothers and peace and will be conducting research on the topic of mothers’ role in countering extremism and terrorism.
- By supporting and empowering mothers in all aspects of life – education, health, economy – MMM contributes to greater equality. I believe that MMM not only contributes to gender equality, but also to overall greater equality in terms of access to human rights in general.
I also find it important to work for an organisation that refrains from essentialist beliefs. While MMM highlights the potential of mothers, it does not stereotype women or mothers as inherently peaceful and good, nor does it negatively stereotype men or fathers.
- Working for MMM, first of all, allows me to conduct research on a topic that I am passionate about, in an environment where I am able to engage with other people with the same interests. Secondly, the internship provides me with working experience, allowing me to become familiar with both the workings of NGOs as well as the UN, which prepares me for my future career plan.
- I would describe MMM as a connected group of passionate individuals, who are motivated and proactive about getting mothers the recognition they deserve. MMM raises awareness at the local, community, national and international level in order to contribute to a more equal, peaceful, and sustainable future.