Senator Larissa Waters created history last week when she became the first politician to deliver a speech in the Parliament Chamber in Australia while breastfeeding her three-month daughter Alia.
The Green Party senator successfully moved a motion to help fight black lung disease, a condition that affects coal miners. Early last month, she also became the first Senator to breastfeed her child in Federal parliament. “Women have always worked and reared children, whether that work was paid in the workplace or unpaid in the home. I hope it helps to normalise breastfeeding and remove any vestige of stigma against breastfeeding a baby when they are hungry,” she said in a statement.
Waters was also at the forefront in passing legislation last year that made the Australian Parliament more “family-friendly”. Now, mothers can nurse their babies in the chamber, where children weren’t allowed before. Members of Parliament can also bring their partners into the Senate chamber briefly, to help with childcare.
While most commentators lauded her attempts to boost a mother-friendly work culture, she was obnoxiously trolled by those who called it an “attention-seeking” tactic and questioned the motive behind it.