Breastfeeding in public is a woman’s right

Breastfeeding is a right of girls, boys and lactating women. This is a basic activity recognized by the National Human Rights Commission. However, despite being a natural necessity, there are still many prejudices and loopholes.

How many times have moms been told that they have to cover up? How many times have mothers been requested to go to the bathroom so as not to bother others? How many more times have people asked women to leave? That is why the recognition of this right by the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate of the Republic is of great importance.

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A big step towards breastfeeding

The Plenary Session of the Senate of the Republic unanimously approved the minute sent by the Chamber of Deputies which considers it discriminatory to prohibit, limit or restrict the right of women to breastfeed in public spaces.

The project, endorsed with 92 votes and sent to the Federal Executive for publication in the Official Gazette of the Federation (DOF), adds a fraction to article 9 of the Federal Law to Prevent and Eliminate Discrimination, in order to protect the right to the health of women who are in a breastfeeding process.

In this sense, it highlights that breastfeeding in public spaces has been a stigmatized act throughout history, violating the dignity of women and violating the rights of minors to nutritious, sufficient and quality food.

Against discrimination

With the reform approved to the Federal Law to Prevent and Eliminate Discrimination, there will be no prohibition, restrictions or limitation to breastfeed anywhere.

Thus, whoever tries to attack a woman who decides to breastfeed in a public space will be committing an illegality.

When presenting the opinion, the president of the Human Rights Commission, Kenia López Rabadán, indicated that in Mexico, only 28.6% of children under six months are exclusively breastfed.

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While the goal established by the United Nations (UN) is to reach 50%, it is therefore aspired, with this verdict, to reach that figure.

Besides this opinion, Senator Manuel Añorve Baños, president of the Legislative Studies Commission, said that limiting the act of breastfeeding not only contravenes legal provisions on discrimination, but could violate other human rights.

“No woman should be prevented from exercising this right… For full breastfeeding, free of prejudice and an environment free of discrimination”, said Kenia López.

Translated by: Ligia M. Oliver Manrique de Lara

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Spanish version: La Lista. Read it here: aquí