Activists call on president to sign breastfeeding bill

Activists carrying placards during the breastfeeding is a right demonstration in Nairobi PHOTO COURTESY

Nairobi,KENYA: Activists have called on President Uhuru Kenyatta to sign the breastfeeding bill into law.

The activists led by Mildred Owiso, a social activist, were speaking during a demonstration outside the Olive restaurant in Nairobi.

“We demand that the president signs the breastfeeding bill into law 2017 that requires employers that have over 30 women to have a breastfeeding area,” Mildred read out the petition.

A breastfeeding bill which proposes to compel employers to set aside breastfeeding rooms that would be accessible to mothers after every four hours worked was passed by a majority of MP’s in parliament in November last year.

The bill is currently awaiting the signing of the president .

The activists were protesting following an incident where a facebook user identified as Betty Kim accused the Olive restaurant on Nairobi’s accra road of discouraging her from breastfeeding inside the restaurant.

“I’m very disappointed by Olive restaurant embassava stage after humiliating me when breastfeeding my baby. That waiter should be aware not all babies are covered while being fed,” Betty posted on Facebook.

Betty further explained that it was raining outside and the waiter encouraged her to breastfeed inside the toilet.

The incident caused public outrage prompting the restaurant to issue a public apology encouraging Betty to file a formal complaint at the restaurant so as to assist in investigations.

The activists who were protesting on Tuesday also launched a petition at the Nairobi county offices to compel the Nairobi county government to protect the rights of breastfeeding mothers.

The incident has been condemned by several leaders including the Nairobi women representative Esther Pasaris.

“Standing in solidarity with those who are demonstrating today for the rights of mothers to breastfeed their babies without discrimination. @fidakenya @HakiKNCHR @wayuamongare #BreastfeedingIsARight” Esther Pasaris tweeted.