Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Bullies at Work: The Breastfeeding Resolution

When Ecuador introduced a World Health Assembly resolution that would promote breastfeeding world-wide, the US objected.  While expected to be routinely passed, the resolution was halted by the surprise objection.  When Ecuador resisted, the US responded with threats.  The US threatened to invoke trade sanctions and threatened to withdraw military aid.  What words did the US object to?  The resolution encouraged countries to "protect, promote and support breastfeeding."

The New York Times speculated that US motivation was to protect US baby formula manufacturers, some of whom were reportedly in attendance. Maybe that was part of the motivation.  But for men who disrespect women, any action that focuses on an exclusively female function raises their anger.   For men so inclined, pregnancy often triggers abuse.  Women report being attacked when breastfeeding or when just holding the children.  Interrupting maternal bonding is a common tactic of men who hate women. 

The US would prefer to interrupt maternal child health and bonding globally.  But then the US met a bigger bully.

When Russia stepped in to sponsor the resolution, the US backed down.

Margaret Drew | Permalink


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