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Breastfeeding and Gender Equality

World Breastfeeding Week 2015The 1–7 August marks World Breastfeeding Week 2015, an annual campaign coordinated by the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA). This year the campaign calls for concerted global action to support women to combine breastfeeding and work, whether in the formal sector, non-formal sector, or at home. It also calls for the ratification and implementation of maternity protection laws and regulations by governments, in line with the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Maternity Protection Convention. Importantly the campaign also advocates for the inclusion of breastfeeding target indicators in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Sigit Sulistyo from World Vision Indonesia has written a blog post for Eldis on the importance of supporting breastfeeding mothers at work in Indonesia.

This update provides some key resources on the issue including advocacy toolkits and briefs on breastfeeding at work; research and briefs on maternity rights more broadly and a resource on understanding breastfeeding as a feminist issue.

World Breastfeeding Week Action Folder 2015
World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action 2015
This six-page advocacy brief highlights the key issues in relation to breastfeeding and work. It sets out clear goals to help women better integrate productive and reproductive work. One goal is, for example, ‘Galvanise multi-di...
Breastfeeding: A Feminist Issue
P. Van Esterik / World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action 2015
In this activity sheet the author answers key questions on breastfeeding and feminism in an interview format. This would be a useful resource for the basis of a group discussion. Breastfeeding is an important women's, human rig...
Maternity Protection Resource Package
International Labour Organization 2015
The Maternity Protection Resource Package provides guidance and tools to strengthen and extend maternity protection to all women in all types of economic activity. It is designed to: Bring together information and tools...
Mothers’ Agency in Managing Breastfeeding and Other Work in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania and New Delhi, India
A. Omer-Salim / Collegium for Development Studies, University of Uppsala 2015
Combining breastfeeding and other forms of work is desirable from both public health and labour productivity perspectives. This is often challenging, especially in low- or middle-income fast-growing urban settings. The aim of this the...
The motherhood pay gap: A review of the issues, theory and international evidence
International Labour Organization 2015
Evidence that mothers suffer a wage penalty over and above the penalty for being a woman raises concerns not only for gender equality but also for the capacity of societies to manage a sustainable balance between their economic aims o...
Women, gender and the informal economy: An assessment of ILO research and suggested ways forward
S. Chant; C. Pedwell / International Labour Organization 2008
This discussion paper provides an overview of the International Labour Organisation's (ILO) research on women, gender and the informal economy which was undertaken during the last two decades. It examines methodological and analytical...
International Baby Food Action Network (IBFAN) Statement on Maternity Protection at Work
International Baby Food Action Network 2014
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 &ndash...
Maternity and paternity at work: Law and practice across the world. Policy Brief.
International Labour Organization 2014
The basis of this policy brief is 'Maternity and paternity at work: Law and practice across the world', a report by the International Labour Organsiation (ILO) on national legislative provisions covering maternity protection, includin...
Maternity and paternity at work: Law and practice across the world. Full Report.
International Labour Organization 2014
This study provides a picture of what has been learned so far about maternity and paternity rights across the world. It offers a rich international comparative analysis of law and practice relating to maternity protection at work in 1...