UNICEF Breastfeeding: Mothers@Work

UNICEF Breastfeeding: Mothers@Work

Galvanizing support for breastfeeding mothers in the workplace

Situation: As Bangladesh navigates middle-income status, it is undergoing key demographic changes. Despite decreasing fertility rates, nearly 10,000 infants are born in Bangladesh every single day. However, ensuring ideal infant and young child feeding (IYCF) practices – including early initiation of breastfeeding, exclusive breastfeeding for six months, complementary foods and availing health services – still remains a key challenge for Bangladesh.

Insight: Given the high female labor participation rate (33.5%), workplace-based initiatives are essential to ensure breastfeeding practice is sustained among working mothers. Creating an enabling environment in the workplace for breastfeeding is key to supporting working mothers to nurture their newborns while continuing their employment.

Approach: McCann Global Health was tasked to develop a brand for this effort focused on the ready-made garment industry along with a comprehensive toolkit containing the training modules, A/V training aids, and SBCC communication materials that would promote an enabling environment to drive maternity protection and breastfeeding in the workplace and link it with community-based interventions.

Outputs: Partnered with local Dhaka based communications agency, Purplewood Ltd, to develop an intense 6-month work plan which included multiple in-person meetings and workshops, site visits and interviews, brand development, local research, toolkit content build and design, event materials/production and day-to-day management of the project from both Dhaka and New York. The program, named Mothers at Work, was launched on August 17th by the Honourable State Minister of Labour and Employment in Dhaka. The launch was done jointly with Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, UNICEF, and ILO. Representatives from key organizations and associations for the garment sector were present and made remarks, including BKMEA, BGMEA, Bangladesh Employers’ Federation, and the Women’s Labour League.