ANY progress in maternity rights is to be welcomed.

However, it is a shame it is limited to an elite few in the Cabinet; in this case, Attorney General and Fareham MP, Suella Braverman (Law to allow Fareham MP to keep role while on maternity leave to be decided, Thursday, 4th February 2021).

By contrast, a whole generation of women are still awaiting justice years after the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) mismanaged their State Pension Age (SPA) changes.

Legislation would be required to sort it out, is one argument used by successive Government ministers.

Yet it seems legislation can be brought forward very swiftly when it suits.

We helped blaze an equality trail for future generations - including Ms Braverman's - but largely failed to reap the rewards of our own efforts.

We are the 1950s-born Women Against State Pension Inequality (WASPI) women, who had six years added to our SPA with little, or no, notice.

We had no time to prepare for such a life-impacting change.

And now, many of us have been badly hit by the Covid-19 crisis.

We were shocked, but not surprised, at some stark news published by the Office for National Statistics last week.

Buried deep in the figures was the evidence that we have feared; a huge increase in unemployment among women over 65.

That is on top of having been made to wait up to an extra six years for our state pension.

Insolvency among this age group has increased too, with redundancy, workplace age discrimination and the historic inequality of smaller pensions leading to poverty and an inability to plug the state pension shortfall gap.

The chances of getting future work are bleak.

WASPI has been raising this issue since April last year, but our calls for emergency support for those most affected have fallen on deaf ears.

We are the 'sandwich generation' who did it all but never had it all.

Shame on the Government for continuing to ignore our state pension injustice.

Sadly, Ms Braverman - with 6,000+ WASPI women in her own Fareham constituency - ignores it too.

We are hopeful the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman will uphold our mass complaints of maladministration.

But how much better it would be if the Government moved as quickly to help us as it has to help Ms Braverman, who has had many more advantages than we ever did.

Shelagh Simmons

Solent WASPI Supporters' Group