Uganda has broken new ground with news that its Parliament has opened a modern breastfeeding facility to serve members and staff of Parliament. The facility was officially opened by the Speaker of Parliament, Rt. Hon. Rebecca Kadaga and comprises of a play area, kitchen, sleeping area, breastfeeding room and bathroom.
According to a statement, the Clerk of Parliament, Jane Kibirige said the “Parliament had spent UShs 90 million [US$ 26 600] to rehabilitate and modify the building in order qualify as a breastfeeding facility”.
The facility has been welcomed and applauded by nursing mothers. Josephine Watera, a Principal Research Officer, who is amongst the first beneficiaries of the facility said, “I did not have to take my annual leave to look after my baby because I am able to bring her to the breastfeeding centre and occasionally take breaks from work to breastfeed her. This is a plus for me and gives me peace of mind”.
Commissioner Rosemary Sseninde, said the breastfeeding facility has shown Parliament’s commitment to practicing gender sensitivity. “Parliament is the first public institution to offer a breastfeeding facility in the country which puts it at the forefront of the promotion of gender sensitivity,” Hon. Sseninde reportedly said.
Research suggests that women who are employed full-time are less likely to initiate breastfeeding and to continue breastfeeding once they return to work, owing to a number of workplace-related impediments.
The initiative is expected to spur other public institutions to adopt similar good practices and for employers to invest in workplace breastfeeding programs and policies.
Source: Parliament of Uganda