Lawmakers in the United Arab Emirates have passed a clause, as part of the Child Rights Law, requiring mothers to breastfeed for at least the first two years of their child’s life.
The Federal National Council’s session passed the Child Rights Law on Jan. 21, and the breastfeeding clause was added once it was put up for review, the government-owned National newspaper reported.
The clause would require all able Emirati women to breastfeed their children for at least two years as part of their duty as mothers, the Council said.
Sultan Al Sammahi, of Fujairah, a member of the committee, said it was the right of all children to be breast fed. Ahmed Al Shamsi, of Ajman, said the clause aimed to help nurture the mother/child bond. Salem Al Ameri and Dr. Amal Al Qubaisi, of Abu Dhabi, also agreed that breastfeeding was a right for all children, The National reported.
The Minister of Social Affairs, Mariam Al Roumi, raised concerns over husbands suing their wives for not complying with the new law.
“This part of the law can be a burden,” she said. “If the law forced women to breastfeed, this could lead to new court cases.”