As you probably already know, some of the world’s megastars are descending on Jozi in December to commemorate the 100 year anniversary of Madiba’s birth at the Global Citizen Festival: Mandela 100, and there are numerous campaigns that you can support to earn FREE tickets to see them live on stage!
The campaign to support a woman’s right to breastfeed at work is one of our favourites, so we decided to share the details and encourage our readers to support this too!
Here’s how to show YOUR support – and earn your FREE concert tickets
Many South African women return to work while still breastfeeding. After all, breast milk is the best for babies, as it builds healthy bodies and brains.
However, when returning to work, many women give up breastfeeding, due to being concerned about lack of empathy and privacy from employers.
Less than a third of babies in South Africa are exclusively breastfed until they are six months old
With nothing more than a clean private space, a comfortable chair, a plug point and a cool place to store expressed breastmilk, South African women could be supported to breastfeed not only in their homes and communities but in workplaces too.
“As an African woman you pride yourself if you are able to breastfeed your child,” said Nandi Madida, South African singer, actress, and TV presenter. “I experienced a deep bond with my child which is unexplainable, purely spiritual and very empowering. Breastfeeding is not only vital for the health of our babies, but it’s also a woman’s right.”
South African laws protect a woman’s right to breastfeed in the workplace
The “Code of Good Practice on the Protection of Employees during Pregnancy and after the Birth of a Child” guarantees breaks for breastfeeding moms. This means that all women who are returning to work can take up to two 30-minute breaks every day for breastfeeding or expressing purposes until their child is six months old.
All women returning to work can take up to two 30-minute breaks every day for breastfeeding or expressing purposes until their child is six months old
As part of the first Action Journey for the Global Citizen Festival: Mandela 100, launched on 21 August, Global Citizens have been urged to pick up the phone and call South African Minister of Labour Mildred Oliphant and leave a message asking her to insist that the breastfeeding workplace “code” be implemented in all government departments.
In just a few hours, 564 Global Citizens called to leave a message for Minister Oliphant but the majority of calls were not answered.
Since then, 3 764 Global Citizens have tweeted to ask the Ministry to pick up the phone, in addition to the 22 318 tweets sent since the beginning of August calling on the Minister to implement the workplace “code” in all government departments.
Join the campaign here: https://www.globalcitizen.org/en/campaign/take-action-during-world-breastfeeding-week/
“Global Citizens in South Africa are taking groundbreaking action to ensure that women are supported to breastfeed in their work places,” said Madida. It’s time we all get behind this and ensure a woman’s right to breaks at work for breastfeeding or expressing. If we genuinely care about our children’s needs this is an absolute must and a right for every mom and their child.”