Breastfeeeding: Sexism-Taboo-Hypocrisy


“45.1% Children under age of 6 months are not breastfed exculsively in India”

Feb 28,2018, a Malyalam magazine “Grihalakshmi’s March edition cover page features an Image of a Women(South Indian Model – Gilu Joseph) feeding a child with uncovered breasts and staring into the camera. The undersigned quote on the page boldly says – “Mother Tells Kerala – Please stop staring, we need to breast feed”. Now this post has come across both harsh criticism and sane acceptance.

38,4% of India’s children under the age of five years are stunted, whereas 21% are wasted. Major reason behind high undernutrition among children is improper breastfeeding practices in the first year of birth.

Under such circumstances, if a magazine attempted a bold communication message to promote breastfeeding, that too in one of the states with high literacy such resistance coming from all over India reflects the problem.

The entire chaos has reflected that still a lot of work towards behavior change communication is to be undertaken which can result in acceptance of safe and public breastfeeding.

The hypocrisy around public display of breastfeeding is also evident from the fact that we are willing to observe breastfeeding in Country’s biggest blockbuster movie “Bahubali”. If the women is breastfeeding covering her breast then it is perceived as a symbol of motherhood that all of us are willing to embrace.

But as soon as the breast uncovers, the entire psychology takes a paradigm shift and it is seen from the eyes of sexist as a national tragedy.

We just refuse to accept that we are stalkers? Just ask a women you know, does she feels comfortable feeding while travelling, when many eyes stalk her as if she is inviting them for something, those eyes who have made india 3rd largest viewer of Pornography in india, those eyes who instantly make an mms famous, without being concerned about the life of that girl and what she might have to face.

The entire incident has indicated the level of Behavior Change Communication still required even in urban centres of the country without which we can not acheive the goal of ending malnutrition in the country.

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