Though breastfeeding is a normal and natural process, many women have been shamed for doing it in public spaces.

Australian senator moves a motion in Parliament while breastfeeding her baby like a bossScreenshot
Social Women Thursday, June 22, 2017 - 18:14

In the past, there have been various instances of women in the west being shamed for breastfeeding their babies in public spaces – in one case, by the father. And while many women have retorted and fought against this shaming, Australian senator Larissa Waters just did something badass – she addressed the Parliament while breastfeeding her daughter.

Called upon by the Speaker, Waters got up, holding her daughter as she fed from her breast and put forth a motion for black lung disease on Thursday.

To be clear – breastfeeding is normal, natural and not something to be hidden. But in the context of women being put down for tending to their children’s needs because of strangers’ discomfort, Waters’ act is commendable, especially in the position she holds in politics.

Watch the video here:

This is not the first time however, that Waters has brought her daughter, Alia Joy Gates, to the Parliament or has breastfed her there.

According to Damien Cave’s report in The New York Times, Alia became the first child to breastfeed in the Australian Federal Parliament in May. And while Waters got praise from many on social media for not moving elsewhere to feed Alia, she said that the reactions surprised her.

“Breast-feeding is a normal and natural thing that women have been doing since time immemorial, and in that sense, it’s quite strange to me that it caused such a sensation,” she said. She added that more young women were needed in the Parliament so that if they breastfed their babies there, it wouldn’t be treated as news.

Previously, an Icelandic lawmaker, Unnur Brá Konráðsdóttir, had pulled a similar feat when she walked to a podium in the Parliament, with her daughter breastfeeding, to defend a Bill that she had proposed.

She later told AFP that breastfeeding was “the most natural thing in the world” and like any other job, it’s just something she had to do.

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