WHO(se) Code?

It’s great to see so much discussion about breastfeeding in the media, given that we’re only a few weeks away from World Breastfeeding Week 1-7 August.

Unfortunately, a lot of the op eds are still missing the point.

This is not about what babies are fed, this about our human right as women to be valued as people with our own distinct needs and for those needs to be recognised in national policy, health care systems, societal structure, community support networks and marketing regulations.

It’s our right to expect that when we ask a health professional about a normal biological function, they will have a basic understanding and then refer us to a specialist as needed.

It’s our right to request alternative work arrangements as the need arises.

It’s our right to expect that our requests for anti-discrimination disputes are not compared to a male-gendered norm.

It’s our right that we not be coerced and our confidence undermined by a commercial entity when it comes to our basic health care needs.


Betty Friedan wrote, “If women were really people – no more, no less – then all of the things that kept them from being full people in our society would have to be changed…It would be necessary to change the rules of the game to restructure professions, marriage, the family, the home.”


Australia needs to legislate the full recommendations provided in the WHO Code as a necessary piece of the puzzle.  Read what we wrote about Australia’s record in Croakey  here.

And fix it here