GROBLERSDAL MALL – The Sekhukhune breastfeeding concerned group, a group protecting, promoting and supporting breastfeeding, hosted an awareness campaign at the Groblersdal Mall to promote breastfeeding in public.
According to the group they embarked on the campaign following concerns about the victimization of women and also threats that are made against women breastfeeding in public spaces and retail shops.
The group said there was a growing concern about shopping centres in Elias Motsoaledi Local Municipality that did not allow customers of retail shops to breastfeed during their visits at them as stipulated in terms of the breastfeeding policy of South Africa on the protection of mothers who are breastfeeding.
The group further demanded that employers at retailers and banks provide nursing facilities so that mothers can breastfeed their babies when shopping.
Tebogo Marotoba, group representative, said they appealed to owners of retail shops to encourage breastfeeding in public spaces.
“If mothers are breastfeeding on demand and at any time, their babies are less likely to get sick. Breastfeeding in public spaces, especially in malls should be completely normal and acceptable. We stand here because mothers cannot breastfeed in certain stores as they are being victimized and threatened when they do that. They are told to that somewhere, even referred to fitting-rooms. They are being deprived of their rights and that is dangerous to mother and child’s health,” said Marotoba.
The group demanded participation of retail employers in the health of their customers, especially women and children.
They recommended for strong partnership in making sure the utmost protective and supportive environment for breastfeeding be created.
Sekhukhune breastfeeding group further recommended that women customers of all shops be allowed breastfeed any time in the shops if breastfeeding rooms or space were not available.