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Hong Kong, 6 August 2021 ── Echoing the global call of World Breastfeeding Week, the first week of every August, Hong Kong Committee for UNICEF (UNICEF HK) held a virtual celebration today. With the support of the Food and Health Bureau and Department of Health of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, representatives from the Government, the Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC), medical and business sectors, as well as breastfeeding mothers, came together to celebrate World Breastfeeding Week and welcome the implementation of the Sex Discrimination (Amendment) Ordinance (SDO) on the protection of breastfeeding women.
For public health considerations, this year’s celebration of World Breastfeeding Week was held online. The officiating guests included Professor Sophia Chan (Secretary for Food and Health), Ms. Judy Chen (Council Chairman of UNICEF HK), Mr. Ivan Chu (Chairman of Advocacy Committee of UNICEF HK), Dr. Ko Wing Man (Council Member of UNICEF HK), Mr. Ricky Chu (Chairperson of EOC), Dr. Patricia Ip (Vice-chairperson of Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative Hong Kong Association), Mr. Simon Wong Ka-wo (Chairman of the Chamber of Food & Beverage Industry of Hong Kong), and Ms. Vicky Tsang (Founder of Natural Parenting Network).
The event’s guest of honor Professor Sophia Chan recognized UNICEF HK’s continuous effort in breastfeeding advocacy. She indicated that with the SDO provisions, the authorities will continue to promote and encourage breastfeeding through different channels.
Ms. Judy Chen was glad that the SDO provisions that protect breastfeeding women against discrimination and harassment came into effect in recent month, resonating with the theme of 2021 World Breastfeeding Week “Protect Breastfeeding: A Shared Responsibility”. She said, “UNICEF HK will continue working with all sectors of society to promote breastfeeding, towards the World Health Assembly’s goal of increasing the rate of exclusive breastfeeding in the first six months up to at least 50% by 2025.”
Mr. Ivan Chu added that there is a rising support in the community and among employers for breastfeeding in recent years. UNICEF HK’s ‘Say Yes to Breastfeeding’ campaign has garnered the pledges of 1,365 workplaces and 471 premises as Breastfeeding-Friendly Premises.
In the sharing section, Mr. Ricky Chu mentioned that the SDO provisions became effective on 19 June this year to offer better protection to breastfeeding women from discrimination and harassment. The aim is to build a more breastfeeding-friendly community.
Dr. Ko Wing Man and Dr. Patricia Ip shared the development and measures of breastfeeding-friendly policy, while Ms. Vicky Tsang shared her own experience and feelings as a breastfeeding mother. As the representative of the business sector, Mr. Simon Wong Ka-wo called upon members of the various industries to provide appropriate and timely assistance to breastfeeding mothers.
Protecting women’s breastfeeding right is a shared responsibility in society. Throughout the years, UNICEF HK collaborated with many companies and organizations to support and encourage mothers to continue breastfeeding. In the virtual celebration, UNICEF HK commended companies and organizations for their dedication to promoting breastfeeding.
To keep track with our work on breastfeeding, please visit: http://www.sayyestobreastfeeding.hk