Monday, February 09, 2009

ONE MILLION CAMPAIGN in support of a woman's right to breastfeed her child

The following message comes from colleagues in India, where this campaign is officially launched today. Please do visit the petition page.

Over the past six months we all have witnessed the most shocking tainted milk scandal that killed six infants and sickened nearly 300,000 more. These babies, well below 3 years, were fed milk powder contaminated with melamine, an industrial chemical used in fertilisers and plastic production. Imagine if the babies were not fed powder milk and in fact were fed on their mother’s milk. They could be saved from this unnecessary catastrophe.

Add your name to the ONE MILLION CAMPAIGN - NO MORE MILK SCANDALS! SUPPORT WOMEN TO BREASTFEED to stop the push towards feeding babies with milk formula, as well as demand support to women to breastfeed. Click here to sign the petition

Growing scientific evidence points out how vital breastfeeding is to infant survival with health. Women are being forced to stop breastfeeding and give their babies milk formulas because they lack support to breastfeed, whether at the time of birth in family or institutions, or when they are at work, and more importantly due to increasing commercial push to milk formula feeding. Potential disasters are thus waiting to happen across the world.

The problem is HUGE. Around 200 mothers give birth to babies every minute somewhere in the world. They need our support. Out of about 135 million children born annually, only 64 million begin breastfeeding within an hour and 71 million do NOT. About 48 million women are successful in carrying out exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months, and 87 million are NOT.
Click to sign the petition
to demand support for women to breastfeed.

Most people think of breastfeeding as something that happens between the woman and her child: that this decision is in the personal domain. However, several factors affect women's ability to breastfeed successfully: traditions, myths, status in the family and society, work load, confidence in her body and sexuality, economic needs, labour laws, domestic and workplace violence and harassment, availability of support services, advertising by commercial baby food manufacturers, and so on. These factors do not allow millions of women across the world to breastfeed their babies optimally.

How we respond to this crisis will shape the lives of our children – our future.

Today, public concern alone can prevent potential milk scandals – public action to respond to the needs of women to enable them to give the best possible food to their babies. We need to Act NOW !

Click to sign the petition

The petition demanding support to women will be presented to the world leaders, at the World Health Assembly in May 2009. Your collective voices will put pressure on the leaders to prevent unnecessary deaths of children, to ensure that every woman in every part of the world is enabled to breastfeed successfully.

Be a connector

Forward this message to all your friends, your networks, and your family, and let us raise a voice our leaders cannot ignore.

With hope and determination to change the world.

ONE MILLION CAMPAIGN Support Women to Breastfeed is a campaign of the World Breastfeeding Movement with just one mission - to mobilize public opinion through one million signatures, demanding support to women to breastfeed.

ONE MILLION CAMPAIGN Support Women to Breastfeed brings together people of all ages from all walks of life to generate the support women need to breastfeed successfully. Through participating in the Movement's campaigns, petitions to local, national and international policy makers, discussions groups, evidence-based information sharing, and actions at every level, you can focus national and global attention on the several challenges to successful breastfeeding and help to resolve them. read more

The Team

The ONE MILLION CAMPAIGN team assists the members of the World Breastfeeding Movement family to identify issues that pose a challenge to successful breastfeeding, and develop national, regional and international campaigns around them. The team works through a secretariat in New Delhi, India, and international coordinators for different regions.

ONE MILLION CAMPAIGN has been initiated by International Baby Food Action Network (IBFAN), winner of the '1998 Right Livelihood Award'. IBFAN has more than 200 public interest groups working around the world to improve infant feeding practices and save lives of infants and young children. IBFAN works for the universal and full implementation of 'International Code of Marketing of Breast milk Substitutes and subsequent relevant World Health Assembly (WHA) resolutions.

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