THE Gibraltar government has passed a law that makes it illegal to discriminate against mothers breastfeeding in public places.
Equality Minister Samantha Sacramento has made changes to an Equal rights Bill in order to make women breastfeeding their children in public more comfortable.
She said: “I am absolutely delighted to have introduced this legislative amendment to benefit women who wish to breastfeed. Breastfeeding is of course absolutely natural, the health benefits are widely known and accepted. Even though the benefits of breastfeeding are generally accepted, negative attitudes to breastfeeding in public can pose a barrier making women feel uncomfortable and unsafe to do so.
“I feel that it is important to create an accepting environment in public. The introduction of this legislation is a proactive and necessary approach to ensure that women can breastfeed in a café or restaurant without the embarrassment of the owner of the establishment asking them to stop.”
The Gibraltar Breast Feeding society called it a ‘momentous occasion for women in Gibraltar’.
A spokesperson for the group said: “We hope that the legislation will encourage more mothers to feel secure to continue breastfeeding, which in turn will help other mums to overcome breastfeeding challenges themselves.”
The Gibraltar Women’s Association congratulated the Gibraltar Breastfeeding Association regarding the recent legislation: “Well done to the association on their continuous awareness and promotion regarding breastfeeding and to the minister for wholeheartedly supporting women’s rights.”
The measure was announced in June and its publication coincides with this Saturday’s awareness initiative ‘the Big Latch On’, organised by the Gibraltar Breastfeeding Association.
For more information, visit www.biglatchon.org