On Tuesday, May 9, reporters took photos of Larissa Waters, a senator in the Australian Parliament, when the Greens represented her daughter Alia, two months, during a vote.
“I am proud that my daughter Alia is the first child breastfed in the federal Parliament,” said Ms. Waters, quoted by ABC net.
— Larissa Waters (@larissawaters) May 9, 2017
The tweet was shared more than 680 times and received hundreds of replies from users praising the new mom for taking a stand.
“Parliament making womanhood ‘normal’ and setting the bar for all employers when it comes to accepting women as equals in the workplace,” one Twitter user replied.
“This is great .. when’s she’s older she’ll be asked why it wasn’t the norm back then,” another commented.
The breastfeeding rules in the Australian Parliament House were changed in the wake of a scandal that broke out in 2015. At the time, Kelly O’Dwyer, Minister of Small Business, was constantly obliged to Out of the meeting room to take care of his newborn.
Larissa Waters, one of the initiators of the change of rules, is the first woman politician to enjoy the right to breastfeed her child in Parliament.
“We need more women and parents in Parliament,” she wrote on Facebook. “And we need more family-friendly and flexible workplaces, and affordable childcare, for everyone.”
On social media, Waters has revived an outpouring of support.
“Great story. The comments though highlight one of the key issues of our growing 24/7 work environment, where remuneration does not meet the demands of present day living,” wrote one user on Facebook. “Time for the universal basic income which has been demonstrated to give mothers, who are not supported by their employer, the opportunity to disengage from the workforce and focus on the nurturing of our next generation.”
“Congratulations to Larissa . a brave act that shouldn’t have to be anymore than breathing,” wrote another person on Twitter. “And congratulations to all the mothers who have had to deal with this utterly ludicrous issue.
Larissa Waters is not the only parliamentarian in the world to have breastfed in the workplace. In 2015, 37-year-old Victoria Donda Perez, the most glamorous member of the National Congress of Argentina, suckled her eight-month-old daughter during a session of Parliament. Pictures of her taken in the meeting room have become viral, beyond the Argentinean borders alone.
In 2016, the Brazilian politician Manuela D’Avila gave her daughter to the Parliament. A member of the Communist Party, she was a member of the group that initiated the law authorizing breastfeeding in public places in Brazil.