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Parliament Rejects Mandatory Breastfeeding Facilities At Work

The Minister of Gender, Betty Amongi

Legislators have rejected the proposal to make it mandatory for all work places to establish breastfeeding facilities for mothers, arguing that such a directive will force employers to shun employing women.

Parliament’s Committee on Gender, Labour and Social Development had proposed the insertion of a new clause in section 5 of the Employment Act 2006 by inserting a new clause to provide for mandatory establishment of breastfeeding facilities, on grounds that such a move would provide protection for employees.

Flavia Kabahenda (Kitagwenda DWR) defended the proposal arguing it would, “Provide for protection of the right to work for breastfeeding employees. To support working mothers to breastfeed exclusively for the first six months of life in compliance with the WHO and UNICEF recommendations and to provide a secure and private breastfeeding facility at the workplace.”

However, the Minister of Gender, Betty Amongi rejected the proposal arguing, “We reject that, the current government bill gives leeway for the employer to offer either time or space or facility so to go into defining well equipped express milk will drive many women out of the job.”

When Deputy Speaker put to question whether the bill proposed clause should be included in the Employment Amendment Bill 2022, MPs opposed it thus sealing the fate of the proposal.

It should however be noted that Parliament has established within its premises a breastfeeding facility used by MPs, staff and visitors who come to Parliament.

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