A Senator from Queensland, Larissa Waters became the first person ever to breastfeed in the Australian parliament on Tuesday. Waters was attending the session for the first time after giving birth to her second child, a girl. While the voting was going on in the parliament, she brought in her daughter and did what was also necessary i.e. feeding her child. Her simple motherly broke the parliament’s record of ever having a woman breastfeed in the establishment.
“So proud that my daughter Alia is the first baby to be breastfed in the federal Parliament! We need more #women & parents in Parli,” wrote the senator on her twitter.
Waters is getting a lot of appreciation for what she did, and rightly so. Other politicians like Katy Gallagher stood by her side and exclaimed that the moment needed to be highlighted.
“Women have been doing it in parliaments around the world… It is great to see it is able to occur now in the Senate,” she told Sky News.
“Women are going to continue to have babies and if they want to do their job and be at work and look after their baby… the reality is we are going to have to accommodate that.”
This could happen after an order was passed last year relaxing rules to bring in children in the parliament, making it a more “family-friendly” space. The rule came because of the entry of many young Australian politicians having babies.
It was actually Waters herself who promoted this conversation in the parliament last year. Earlier than this, a strict regime was being followed, banning children’s entry in it.
Apart from Waters, in Iceland, a centre-right Independence Party politician, Unnur Brá Konráðsdóttir breastfed her child while giving a speech in the parliament.
Breastfeeding in public spaces has been much in debate over the last few years. Celebrities like Mila Kunis, Salma Hayek etc have been slammed for breastfeeding in public. And common women have had to feed their children in toilets and isolated areas just to avoid the embarrassment that people subject them to. Breastfeeding needs to be addressed for what it is and not looked at from a sexual aspect for it to normalize in society. Especially now, when more and more women are joining the workforce and need to be in the public space.
Picture credit- The Australian