Support Women’s Right to Breastfeed!

 international-womens-day8 March 2015 – WABA celebrates International Women’s Day 2015: commemorating 20 years since the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action. Discussions on this historic roadmap (which set the agenda for realizing women’s rights, signed by 189 governments in 1995) are set to take place at the 59th session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW59) between 9-20 March in New York.


WABA Steering Committee endorsed WABA Secretariat’s collaboration with the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine (ABM), International Lactation Consultant Association (ILCA), Carolina Global Breastfeeding Institute (CGBI) and 1000 Days, on a call for“Supporting Women’s Right to Breastfeed”, in a Joint Statement and Call for Action to the CSW 59.

“The twentieth anniversary of the Fourth World Conference on Women (Beijing+20) is an opportunity to re-examine the Beijing Platform for Action and determine the progress made and gaps remaining in areas of critical concern in achieving women’s full equality and empowerment, including the right to optimal health for mothers and children” states the ‘Joint Statement to the CSW59 and Call for action’. “While breastfeeding is recognized as fundamental to child survival, nutrition and development, its importance to maternal health, protection against non-communicable diseases and contribution to environmental sustainability is not as well known. It contributes to birth spacing, and reduces the risk of postpartum hemorrhage, breast and ovarian cancers, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. It fosters mother-infant emotional bonds and a sense of security. It is a natural and renewable food that involves no packaging, transportation or fuel. Yet in many countries breastfeeding is neglected, known supportive interventions are under-resourced and aggressive marketing of breastmilk substitutes continues unchecked.” The Joint Statement also asserts that: Promoting, protecting and supporting breastfeeding is consistent with the Strategic Objectives of the Beijing Platform for Action 1995; Breastfeeding IS a Human Right; Promoting, protecting and supporting breastfeeding is consistent with the Sustainable Development Goals of ending hunger, achieving food security and improving nutrition; and that Effective Interventions Exist. The Statement ends with a ‘Call to Action’, noting that we have an opportunity and a responsibility to ensure that promotion, protection and support of optimal breastfeeding become universal public health policy. See here for the full Joint Statement and Call for Action to the CSW 59.

WABA is also supporting the CSW parallel event entitled “Mothers Matter: The Power of Breastfeeding” on 17 March 2015, between 8-10am at the Church Centre of the United Nations. See Advert here.