For women it can be daunting to breastfeed in public. But many women lawmakers across the world have taken it upon themselves to question and break diktats when it comes to breastfeeding in public, and even Parliament. This Breastfeeding Week, we take a look at women politicians across the world who set an example for women.
Larissa Waters, Australia
In June 2017, this Australian member of parliament breastfed her two-month-old daughter, Alia Joy, in Parliament. The lady legislator did not stop there; she went on to address the chamber and propose a motion about a condition affecting coal miners while breastfeeding the entire time.
— Larissa Waters (@larissawaters) May 9, 2017
Willow-Jean Prime, New Zealand
In November 2017, this Labor MP from New Zealand breastfed her baby in Parliament . At the time, she was sitting next to fellow lawmaker Kiri Allan, who had also brought her child to Parliament.
Ellen Sandell, Australia
In September 2017, the Australian legislator in the state of Victoria breastfed her baby daughter in the Victorian Parliament.
Carolina Bescana, Spain
In January 2016, Carolina Bescana, a Spanish deputy brought her infant son to the Parliament much to the outrage of fellow lawmakers. While they went to rant about it, Bescana defended her actions saying that it was time they brought in reality into the Parliament, so it could represent the country better.
Unnur Brá Konráðsdóttir, Iceland
In Iceland, a member of Parliament had been breastfeeding her baby when she was called to answer a question. My child “was hungry, and I wasn’t expecting to speak, so I started feeding her,” the mother of three told The Washington Post.
“Then a representative asked a question about a proposal I had put forward, which I had to answer. I could choose to yank her off and leave her crying with another representative, or I could bring her with me, and I thought that would be less disruptive,” she added.
Victoria Donda, Argentina
In July 2015, an Argentinian deputy, Victoria Donda breastfed her daughter during a meeting in the Argentine National Congress.
Mamá full time. En plena sesión, Victoria Donda. pic.twitter.com/P0N64s1a9A
— Naty Marquiegui Mc L (@Natymarq) July 17, 2015
Licia Ronzulli, Itlay
Back in 2010, Licia Ronzulli brought her daughter — then just seven-weeks-old — into the European Parliament during a vote, creating quite a buzz.
“It’s bizarre. We’ve been doing a lot, a lot of work in the European Parliament and there was no interest in the press. Then I come with my baby and everybody wants to interview me,” the lawmakers told The Guardian.
However, in some instances, women politicians have been asked to leave because they were breastfeeding.
Kirstie Marshall, Australia
An ex-MP for the Austrailian state of Victoria, Marshall was asked to leave Parliament while breastfeeding her baby in 2003. However, the problem wasn’t the fact that she was breastfeeding, but the fact that the baby was an unelected individual who couldn’t attend the Parliamentary proceedings. The country has since changed its rules that allow lawmakers to breastfeed during hearings.
Julia Drown, UK
A Labour MP in the UK, Drown requested permission to feed her newborn baby during committee meetings in 2000. Her request was denied and to date, no change has been made in the law to enable Britsh lawmakers to breastfeed or bring their babies into Parliament.