International Baby Food Action Network (IBFAN) Statement on Maternity Protection at Work

International Baby Food Action Network (IBFAN) Statement on Maternity Protection at Work

The International Baby Food Action Network (IBFAN) believes that all women should have the right to enjoy a safe and healthy maternity and to make informed decisions about their infants’ and young children’s feeding – including full support to exclusively breastfeed for the first six months and to continue breastfeeding until their child is two years or more. While maternity and breastfeeding are natural processes, they can be particularly threatened by afflicting circumstances such as poverty and gender-based discrimination, as well as by work situations. The world over, women face institutional and societal discrimination that often result in fear or coercion – impacting directly upon their health, nutritional and educational status, their reproductive rights to decide freely and responsibly of the number and spacing of their children, as well as the means and ways of feeding them. This is particularly manifest among poor women who are, in general, the most vulnerable of all women.

This short five page statement covers all the key issues: it provides a definition of what maternity protection at work is and why it is such a crucial international issue, which human rights instruments support it, and the considerable benefits it has.

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