How do we ensure that a woman’s right to breastfeeding support is realised in the era of generation equality?
The solution includes:
- more equal sharing of care work within the parenting team,
- enhanced community understanding of existing inequalities,
- engaging with men and boys to support women’s needs and rights,
- improving women’s access to health services,
- and last but not least gender-equitable parental social protection (PSP) policies and legislation.
Policies that promote more flexible and parent-friendly workplaces, allowing equitable and efficient distribution of time, will attract more women to the workforce and reduce constraints on women’s time and child health. Equitable implementation of maternity protection policies to include women working in the large informal sector will be required for all the benefits of breastfeeding to be maximized.
With an estimated 47.2% of women in the labour force in 2019, the civil and private sectors are playing an essential role in women’s right of support to breastfeed. The World Breastfeeding Week (WBW) 2019 called for the implementation of PSP, which includes public-funded paid leave policies, legislation, and parent-friendly or family-friendly workplaces. There is a large difference of the rights of breastfeeding mothers between countries worldwide. The Parents at Work Advocacy Tool was developed to showcase the level of support parents are currently receiving worldwide.