AUSTRALIAN SENATOR MAKES HISTORY
Lawmaker first to breastfeed baby in Parliament
“So proud that my daughter Alia is the first baby to be breastfed in the federal Parliament! We need more #women & parents in Parli,” she wrote on Twitter.
Being able to breastfeed in the chamber follows new rules introduced last year to create a more “family friendly” Parliament in the wake of what has been described as a “baby boom” among politicians.
Under previous rules, children were technically banned.
“In 2003, Kirstie Marshall, a Victorian MP, was ejected from state parliament for breastfeeding her 11-day old baby girl,” Waters added.
“Sometimes it’s difficult not to get disheartened by the sexism (Clockwise from left) A girl offering prayers in a Buddhist temple on the occasion of Buddha Purnima festival, also known as Wesak Day, in Agartala, India, yesterday; Monks leading devotees to pray outside the Kong Meng San Phor Kark See Monastery in Singapore on Tuesday; and, Sri Lankan devotees praying at the Kelaniya Temple in Colombo yesterday.AGENCIES women face in the workplace. But sometimes, it pays to look back and see how far we have come.”
Breastfeeding in public has become a hot topic in many countries, and female lawmakers have been criticised for taking their babies to parliamentary sessions.
Last year, a politician in Iceland spoke in Parliament while breastfeeding her baby daughter, and infants are allowed in the European and Spanish parliaments.
Labour frontbencher Katy Gallagher said the moment deserved to be acknowledged.
“Women have been doing it in parliaments around the world... It is great to see it is able to occur in the Senate,” she told Sky News.
“Women are going to continue to have babies, and if they want to do their jobs and be at work and look after their baby... the reality is we are going to have to accommodate that.”
Waters has changed her Facebook profile to an image of herself breastfeeding in Parliament, attracting dozens of mostly positive comments.
“Thank you for sharing this beautiful picture and helping to normalize breastfeeding in our society!” one user wrote. AFP
Greens’ senator Larissa Waters soothing Alia Joy after breastfeeding her in the Senate Chamber at Parliament House in Canberra on Tuesday.