Freedom to exercise the right to breast-feeding

For years, women who feed their babies in public have been stigmatized as unfit and immoral, despite it being a natural process of paramount importance to newborn development.

Breastfeeding should be considered a natural activity, so it is essential to reinforce this practice with legal tools that protect mothers and their babies.

Subsequently On November 22, 2021, an amendment to the Federal Law for the Prevention and Elimination of Discrimination was published in the Ministry of Finance, where the thirty-fourth fraction is added to the ninth, to indicate that they will consider discriminatory acts where the act of breastfeeding in public is prohibited, restricted, or restricted.

The explanatory note to this reform notes that it is necessary to promote breastfeeding, not only for its free exercise and the right not to discriminate against women, but also to protect the human rights to health and nutrition of minors.

Factors such as inequality between men and women, and segregation towards pregnant or breastfeeding women, maintain cultural and social prejudices about maternal nutrition, which are an obstacle to the exercise of this right.

Hence the obligation of the employer to give working mothers two extraordinary shifts per day, each of half an hour, to feed their children, in a suitable and healthy place within the company, and when this is not possible, with prior agreement with the employer, to reduce their working hours by an hour one during the above period (Article 123, Section A, Part V, Political Constitution of the United Mexican States; and Article 170, Section IV, Federal Law).

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Although the workplace is a private area, ensuring that female employees have a suitable place within their workspace will help them freely exercise this right and stop denigrating women who breastfeed their children in public.

The above also encourages the creation of companies that are committed to their employees, and that promote spaces free of discrimination, with inclusion and equality at work.

Finally, if the employer did not have a place to breastfeed or did not grant exceptional rest, this would discriminate against the woman, thus violating her right to equality.

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