On In People & Politics

Australian Senator Breastfeeds Her Baby In Parliament And This Is What She Has To Say

In Australia, Queensland Senator Larissa Waters just made history by being the first parliament member to breastfeed her baby in the chamber. Of course, her baby, a two-month-old little girl named Alia Joy, made history as well by officially becoming the first baby to be breastfed in the Federal Parliament. Waters was fully within her rights to do so (breasted Alia), since the Australian Parliament changed its rules regarding infants in the chamber and breastfeeding last year, to allow female lawmakers and such to not only bring their offspring to work with them but to also nurse their infants in the chamber should the need arise. Before the rule/law change, infants and children of all ages were banned from the chamber, which was a policy that made it quite hard for young women to embark on careers within Parliament.  Read below for more regarding this story.(Please note that all of the images used in this article are actual representations of the people mentioned)

The event

According to Sky News, “The 40-year-old Queensland politician [Larissa Waters] brought Alia in for a feed during a vote on a Greens motion.”

A proud moment

She (Larissa) posted the following Tweet on Twitter regarding the happening: “So proud that my daughter Alia is the first baby to be breastfed in the federal Parliament! We need more #women parents in Parli."

An event worth acknowledgement 

Katy Gallagher, who is a fellow Senator alongside Larissa Waters, said that it (the breastfeeding event) was “a moment that deserved to be acknowledged.” She told Sky News that, “Women have been doing it [breastfeeding] around the world [and] it is great to see it occur now in the [Australian] Senate.”

Part of the reason for the change 

 The historical breastfeeding moment occurred due to much help and influence from Waters herself because she helped to introduce the rule changes by making the following statement in November 2016, which has been quoted as per CNN News; “If we want more young women in Parliament, we must make the rules more family friendly to allow new mothers and new fathers to balance their parliamentary and parental duties.”

The spark that led to the flame 

As per various sources, the 2015 controversy that surrounded former assistant treasurer Kelly O’Dywer, when she was asked to rather consider expressing her breast milk to avoid missing parliamentary duties, is what sparked the whole movement/plight for change.

A hint of change 

CNN News states that, “On International Woman's Day, while Waters was still on maternity leave, the senator announced the birth of her daughter and hinted about what was to come.”