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2 August 2006 Commissioner Goward encourages more Australian… - capawomen

Aug. 15th, 2006

11:41 pm

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2 August 2006

Commissioner Goward encourages more Australian mothers to breastfeed .
. . and for longer

Federal Sex Discrimination Commissioner Pru Goward has encouraged
Australian women to educate themselves about the benefits of breastfeeding
over breastmilk substitutes during World Breastfeeding Week (1-7 August
2006).

Commissioner Goward said with the participation rate of women in the
work force continuing to rise, maintaining Australia's modest breast
feeding rate will be a real challenge without adequate workplace
flexibilities.

"While around nine in ten women initiate breastfeeding, by 12 weeks
this has fallen to 60 per cent and by six months only 48 per cent of
babies are receiving some breastmilk," said Ms Goward.

"Exclusive breastfeeding rates are even lower, with recent data showing
that 54 per cent of babies are exclusively breastfed at three months
and only 32 per cent at six months.

"The Commission is committed to doing all we can to encourage women to
continue breastfeeding, particularly beyond six months, and to assist
workplaces to facilitate breastfeeding on a mother's return to paid
work."

A mother's right to breastfeed is protected by the federal Sex
Discrimination Act, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex, marital
status, pregnancy and potential pregnancy.

The Act also makes clear that discrimination because a woman is
breastfeeding (or expressing) is regarded as sex discrimination because it is
clearly a characteristic of women. In addition, the Act also makes it
unlawful to dismiss an employee because of their family
responsibilities.

World Breastfeeding Week (1 - 7 August 2006) is highlighting the 25th
anniversary of the 'WHO Code' - the World Health Organization
International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes. This code was designed
to protect babies, parents and health professionals from harmful
marketing of all breastmilk substitutes. Currently, Australia has not
implemented the full WHO Code, despite being a signatory to it.

In 1992, the Australian Government implemented its own code called the
'Marketing in Australia of Infant Formulas: Manufacturers and Importers
(MAIF) Agreement'. Ms Goward was appointed the new Chair of the
Advisory Panel on the Marketing in Australia of Infant Formula (APMAIF) in
February this year.

"My work with HREOC and the APMAIF compliment each other," Ms Goward
said.

"As Sex Discrimination Commissioner I can encourage women to breastfeed
for as long as possible, and through APMAIF we can help to ensure that
mothers are provided with all the information they need in order to
make the right decision about whether or not to breastfeed their infants."



I wonder who Ms Goward is, it's so strange, I kept reading mrs government-howard the first time I read through the article.
I had never heard of APMAIF before. I think I may need to look into it more.
I also haven't really had a good look at what had been said about breastfeeding and studying, but I guess daycare says it all really.
Some campusses had been very pro-active about their women on campus so I wonder what had been said regarding that.