After being the first woman to breastfeed on the floor of Australian parliament last month, Larissa Waters is making news for yet another first.
The senator is now also the first politician to deliver a speech while breastfeeding. Last night, a political reporter in Australia posted a video of Waters breastfeeding her daughter Alia Joy Waters while submitting a motion on black lung disease, reported Mashable.
Waters, the co-deputy leader of the country's Green Party, returned from maternity leave last month, and Alia Joy is her second daughter. In an email statement to Mashable, she said she hoped her actions would help remove the stigma around public breastfeeding and make it a more accepted thing to do in the workplace.
"Women have always worked and reared children, whether that work was paid in the workplace or unpaid in the home. I hope it helps to normalise breastfeeding and remove any vestige of stigma against breastfeeding a baby when they are hungry," she said.
She added: "I hope it sends a message to young women and mothers that they belong in places of power like the parliament."
Last year, the Australian parliament changed its rules to allow female lawmakers to nurse their babies while in the chamber, as well as to vote by proxy if they can't make it to the floor. Before that, children had been banned from the chamber altogether.
Female politicians in other countries have also been doing work to normalize breastfeeding in lawmaking chambers. In October 2016, we reported on Icelandic MP Unnur Brá Konráðsdóttir addressing her colleagues while feeding her daughter. Spanish MP Carolina Bescansa caused a stir after breastfeeding her son.
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