‘We will breastfeed where we want’ protesters say
Demonstrators marched along city streets on Tuesday to protest the mistreatment of a mother who was banned from openly breastfeeding her child in a restaurant.
The protesters accused Olive Restaurant located along Accra Road of infringing the rights of children to basic food saying the action is not only despicable, but inhuman.
“It is shameful that some individuals or restaurants support such blatant violation of a child’s right to feed,” said Mildred Owiso, one of the protesters.
The issue came into the public last week after a woman identified as Betty Kim took to social media to express her frustration with Olive Restaurant’s action.
In her posts, Betty blasted the restaurant’s employees for their heartless approach in the matter saying one of the waiters asked her to either cover her breastfeeding baby or do it in the washroom.
“I’m very disappointed by Olive Restaurant for humiliating me when breastfeeding my baby. Those waiter’s should be aware not all babies are covered while being fed. The approach was pathetic, it was raining outside and I can never breastfeed my baby in the toilet,” wrote Betty.
The restaurant’s management offered an apology and asked the complainant to come forward and assist in identifying the waiter who threw her out for action.
“We sincerely apologize and we assure you that the olive management is taking necessary measures to address the matter. Please get in touch with us if possible to assist us with the investigations. In order to improve our services to any mother,” said the restaurant manager, Moses Wambua.
Yesterday, the group matched to parliament where they petitioned members of parliament to formulate and enforce laws that protect lactating mothers before moving to Olive Restaurant.
“The law allows mothers to breastfeed anywhere we want, however and whenever we want to. We therefore ask both the national and the county governments to ensure the laws are enforced. We also appeal to the President to assent the Breastfeeding Mothers Bill of 2017,” said Owiso.
Members of Parliament Martha Wangare and Isaac Mwaura who came out to receive the bill supported the move by the women asserting the need to implement the existing laws.
“The problem is not in formulation of laws, we have enough legal mechanism supporting breastfeeding children in public, but we need to endure they are enforced. Work places for instance need to ensure there is a conducive space set aside for women to breastfeed,” said Wangare.