‘Don’t Discriminate Against Breastfeeding Mothers’ – Edgars Protesters


Yea right, all breastfeeding mothers don’t have to face any discriminatory attitude from the public says a group of 30 mothers who staged a protest at Edgars in Cavendish Square on Sunday in support of the young mother who was sent away from the store for trying to feed her one-month-old baby.

The group of mothers who came to the streets of Cape Town brandishing their maternity bras and squirt milk on clothing, said they aimed at explaining the hard times breastfeeding mothers face when trying to feed their babies in public and that the case of Tasneem Botha who was discriminated against by a well-known Edgars in Cavendish Square, was a good start for the awareness

Tasneem Botha took to social media last week to complain about the treatment she received from Edgars staff. According to her report, the staff first told her to leave because they did not want her changing her one-month-old baby’s nappy in the store.

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When she then tried to breastfeed her baby, she was told to leave by the store manager who allegedly told her she is “not even allowed” to breastfeed.

Speaking on how she felt, Botha said she was really angry especially as some of the staffs laughed and made jest of her while she left the store. She said she was furious that she had to just ask them: “When adults eat in your stores, do you also chase them out?”

A few countries such as Saudi Arabia, expressly forbid women to expose their breasts publicly, while in many locations, especially in third-world locations, there are no laws, only cultural practices, that influence women’s choice to nurse in public.

The media has reported a number of incidents in which workers or members of the public have objected to or forbid women from breastfeeding.

Though Tasneem Botha was not present at the protest, the group were seen holding a one-hour sit-in, breastfeeding their babies and enjoyed muffins provided by the store.

“Today was positive, a win for our organisation and a win for the mother who was discriminated against. I’m pleased to know Edcon will be more breastfeeding friendly because of everything that has happened. It’s just perfect.” Anèl Olsson, of Normalise Breastfeeding SA said.

Mom Natasha Karenyi, 37, who was also present at the protest was seen breastfeeding her one year old son Conrad, said breast is the best for children and that and that people should support them.

“I thought Tasneem Botha was treated unfairly. As a mother of two children I know what it’s like to breastfeed in the most awkward of places. People should support this. All children have been breastfed in some or other way, so why is it offensive?” Natasha said.

Meanwhile, Edgars has apologized to Tasneem. The store even went ahead to open their doors for the protesting moms on Sunday and Edcon CEO Bernie Brookes promised that they would soon resume an in-house training to its staff to make sure customers are fairly treated.

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