Some 678 mothers and their babies demonstrated on City Hall Square Monday against what they see as discrimination, in restaurants and cafés being able to decide whether to permit public breast-feeding.
The event, held under the slogan ‘They’re only breasts’, has been contrived by Blogger Trine Maria Larsen in a reaction against a recent Equality Board decision, which left it up to restaurants and cafés to decide whether they would allow women to openly breast-feed in their establishments.
“It’s breast-feeding on City Hall Square. Not a séance in which people dance around naked and burn their nursing bras,” Larsen says.
“Since I organised the event and it bears my name, I want to make sure that it’s not a shrill debate but a quiet sit-down that shows it’s not that bad to breast-feed. We’re not doing it to offend people. It’s something we’re advised to do and it would be nice to be able to live a normal life among others while we’re breast-feeding,” she says.
While Larsen says she does not expect a red carpet to be rolled out for her just because she’s a mother, she is tired of being discriminated against. She says she has experienced being told by other guests at a café, that the fact that she was nursing was disgusting.
“They likened it to going to the toilet while you’re eating,” she says.
“We want to show people how many of us there are. We are unhappy with the fact that a court can make such a decision. I don’t like the direction the issue has taken. Although restaurant owners are allowed to say no to us, I hope they don’t,” she says.
The Danish Health and Medicines Authority advises mothers to breast-feed their babies fully for the first six months and partially from six to 12 months or longer.
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Edited by Julian Isherwood