‘The Personal is Political’: Political and Ethical Considerations of Neonate Breast Feeding
Abosede Priscilla Ipadeola, PhD

Generations of humans have been nurtured by women’s breast milk as neonates and infants from time immemorial. This underscores the importance of women’s role as breast-feeders to the survival of the human race, past, present and future. The role of a woman as a breast-feeder is taken, in many societies, to be a duty which nature has saddled women with and for which unless properly performed, women cannot be considered to be complete or responsible. In most African societies, for example, it is believed that the role of breastfeeding is one of the fundamental roles that define the female. However, if juxtaposed with the equally demanding task of developing a career on a paid job, breastfeeding is relegated to the level of little or no worth in the public domain. This is a reflection of marginalization, oppression and subjugation which women have been made to endure for generations because certain aspects of their feminine experiences are considered private and of no relevance in the public domain. In spite of the rigor involved in nurturing, especially in breastfeeding, it is not recognized as a form of labor and the basis for the relegation of this and other traditional roles that women perform is traceable to John Locke’s dichotomization of production and reproduction.

Full Text: PDF      DOI: 10.15640/ijgws.v4n2a12