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”.

Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Alitwala Kadaga shares a light moment with children in the newly built facility. Photo: Parliament of Uganda
Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Alitwala Kadaga shares a light moment with children in the newly built facility. Photo: Parliament of Uganda

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