Mother-friendly workplaces delegation meets with Sharjah government officialsMay 21, 2012 - 02:48 -
WAM Sharjah, May 21st, 2012 (WAM) -- A delegation of Mother-friendly workplaces held a meeting with government representatives in the Emirate of Sharjah as part of the activation of the "Sharjah: Baby-Friendly Emirate" Campaign, which was initiated with generous material and moral support from H. H. Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah. It is spearheaded by Her Highness Sheikha Bodour bint Sultan Al Qasimi.
During the meeting, participants exchanged views on how best to help employers and employees to meet halfway, so that this concept enjoys the highest possible adoption rate. They widely praised the vital role being played by the campaign organizers in raising awareness among public and private institutions. It was unanimously agreed that there needs to be a strong push to institute special facilities for breastfeeding in various public facilities. All this will ensure that breastfeeding is accorded its deserved importance, and this in turn will contribute to the emergence of a healthy generation.
Eman Rashid, Deputy Director of the Executive Committee of the initiative, observed that: "Two heads are better than one, and in this case we have been thrilled to exchange ideas with several representatives of agencies and departments in the emirate of Sharjah. This brings us closer to our aspiration. Working mothers work extremely hard - in some cases exceeding 8 hours per day, and therefore they must be allocated rooms where they can breastfeed in private during working hours - whether directly or via milk suction. Newborn babies in particular need breastmilk during the crucial early period of their growth. Therefore we are contributing enormously towards this objective by encouraging employers to create a workplace environment that is conducive to breastfeeding." The consensus among attendees was that this campaign will be warmly welcomed by representatives of institutions who cherish the value of female employees. The prevailing sentiment was that if society as a whole supports this movement, it will nurture greater success and progress in the workplace, the community and the emirate as a whole.
Dr Hessa Khalfan Al Ghazal, Director of the Executive Committee of the Sharjah: Baby-Friendly Emirate Campaign, elaborated on the outcome of the proceedings: "Without a doubt, working mothers contribute phenomenally to the success of employers, and therefore the representatives have pledged to reciprocate by treasuring the breastfeeding needs of female employees. In some government departments working mothers make up a mammoth 70% of the employees. Thus their needs cannot be ignored, overlooked or underestimated. Employers must also acknowledge the severe challenges and daunting obstacles faced by working mothers, such as a lack of rooms in which to breastfeed. Work and breastfeeding are not mutually exclusive, because they can complement each other and coexist harmoniously side by side." This development is the latest in a long line of progressive measures instituted by the Sharjah: Baby-Friendly Emirate Campaign. It constitutes a major boost in its quest to ensure suitable conditions that encourage working mothers' roles as invaluable partners in socio-economic development. The campaign is segmented into four core areas of focus: Breastfeeding-friendly nurseries; Mother and baby-friendly public places; Mother-friendly workplaces and Baby-friendly health facilities.