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The Federal National Council has passed a clause in the Child Rights law that requires all mothers to breastfeed, because as Sultan Al Sammahi (Fujairah), a member of the council committee, said it’s, “The right of all children to be breastfed up to the age of 2.” Not everyone was on board. According to The National, Minister of Social Affairs, Mariam Al Roumi, said that a breastfeeding law like this on the books, “Could lead to husbands suing their wives if they did not breastfeed.” Plus, there’s the whole issue of enforcement. How do you even start to enforce a law like this? Al Sammahi, a clear supporter of the law did note that if mothers neglect their duties, they may be punished. Many mothers are against the clause, saying that breastfeeding should be a choice and not a law. Reem Al Falasi, a breastfeeding mom told The National, “It would be more of an advantage to the child if the mother was to implement the law, but it is the mother’s choice and she knows what’s best for her baby.” Other mothers feel this puts undue stress on working mothers, especially since all moms have very different circumstances. This isn’t the first time breastfeeding enforced by law has come up and it surely won’t be the last, but we feel if you’re going to advocate for the right to breastfeed, you also should advocate for the rights of mothers who chose not to.

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+ FNC passes mandatory breastfeeding clause for Child Rights law