This World Breastfeeding Week, WABA calls for concerted global
action to support women to combine breastfeeding and work. Whether a woman is
working in the formal, non-formal or home setting, it is necessary that she is
empowered in claiming her and her baby’s right to breastfeed.
The WBW 2015 theme on working women and breastfeeding revisits
the 1993 WBW campaign on the Mother-Friendly Workplace Initiative. Much has
been achieved in 22 years of global action supporting women in combining
breastfeeding and work, particularly the adoption of the revised ILO Convention
183 on Maternity Protection with much stronger maternity entitlements, and more
country actions on improving national laws and practices. At the workplace
level, we have also seen more actions taken to set up breastfeeding or
mother-friendly workplaces including awards for breastfeeding-friendly
employers, as well as greater mass awareness on working women’s rights to
Innocenti Declaration (1990) recognized that breastfeeding provides ideal
nutrition for infants and contributes to their healthy growth and development.
There is much that remains to be done despite 25 years of hard work,
particularly on the fourth Innocenti target that calls on governments to
“…enact imaginative legislation protecting the breastfeeding rights of working
women and establish means for its enforcement”.
- Concerted global action to support women to combine
breastfeeding and work, whether in the formal sector, non-formal sector, or at
- Ratification and implementation of maternity protection
laws and regulations by governments, in line with the ILO Maternity Protection
- Inclusion of breastfeeding target indicators in the Sustainable
Development Goals (SDGs)
With the WBW
2015 campaign, WABA and its partners at global, regional and national levels
aim to empower and support ALL women, working in both the formal and informal
sectors, to adequately combine work with child-rearing, particularly
strategies exist to support women working in your country or community from
long-term actions to short-term actions.
Together, we can make it work!