WABA/UNICEF Stockholm Symposium

Contemporary solutions to an age-old challenge: Breastfeeding and work

26-28th September 2015

Video messages and Power Points Presentation from Panel 1 to Panel 3.

Day 1 - SATURDAY, 26 September 2015

Video Messages

Conference Themes

Day 2 - SUNDAY, 27 September 2015

Panel  Discussion 1: Economics and Financing

Objective: To identify the practical challenges regarding financing of maternity protection, explore different financing mechanisms and identify ways of replicating these.

Moderator- Maaike Arts, Nutrition Specialist, UNICEF, New York

Maaike’s main area of work has been Nutrition, often with a focus on infant and young child nutrition, and she also worked on HIV and AIDS and Early Childhood Care.

Facilitator- Jay Sharma, Co-Executive Director, WABA  

Jay Joined WABA as a Consultant in October 2012 and has worked as a lawyer and in management largely in the not-for-profit sector.  





  1. Dr. Larry Grummer-Strawn, WHO

Technical officer at the World Health Organization, coordinating work on infant and young child feeding.

Linking IYCF and other health

recommendations to relevant UN/ILO conventions/the need to harmonise policies.


  1. Dr. Julie Smith, Australian National University

 Associate Professor at the ANU. Her current health economics research focuses on economic aspects of breastfeeding and markets in mothers' milk, and smoking cessation.

Conceptualising the combination of work and breastfeeding/time studies.


  1. Dr. JP Dadhich, IBFAN Asia

He is a Paediatrician & the National Coordinator of the Breastfeeding Promotion Network of India (BPNI), the premiere organization working in the field of breastfeeding and infant and young child feeding and other related issues in India.

The global situation on maternity

protection using the WBTi tool.




  1. Mr. Mai Duc Thien

Deputy Director General, Department of Legislation, Ministry of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs (MOLISA) of Vietnam.

Vietnam experiences of moving towards increased maternity/

parental leave and financing mechanisms. Opportunities and

challenges at national level.


  1. Mette Ness Hansen, Oslo University Hospital, Norway

Working half time in the Norwegian National Advisory Unit on Breastfeeding as a national BFHI coordinator. Main responsibility is reassessing Baby-friendly delivery units. Working half time as a midwife in the Community Health Services

Norway experiences of moving towards increased maternity/

parental leave and financing mechanisms. Opportunities and

challenges at national level.



  1. Nor Kamariah Mohamed Alwi MBFPCA, Peer Counsellors, (Malaysia/Asia)

Comes with an Engineering qualification and ventured into breastfeeding support and founding SusuIbu.com, a breastfeeding support centre in Malaysia. She is accreditated as IBCLC.

Currently, she is the President of the Malaysian Breastfeeding Peer Counseling Association (MBfPCA).

MBFPCA, Peer Counsellors,

(Malaysia/Asia) perspectives on combining work and breastfeeding. Challenges faced.

Panel Discussion 2: A Gender Equitable Maternity Protection


To identify the challenges of gender equitable maternity/parental protection, explore the role of men/fathers in supporting breastfeeding mothers, and identify strategies to promote family-friendly workplaces.

Moderator- Dr. Amal Omer-Salim, Co-Executive Director, WABA

Dr. Amal Omer-Salim has recently taken up the role of Co-Executive Director at the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA), having been a Senior Technical Advisor to WABA since 2008, mainly within the areas of strategic planning/management, working women, and health care practices. She is a PhD nutritionist and was based at Uppsala University, Sweden until May 2015.

Facilitator- Nemat Hajeebhoy,

Nemat works with FHI 360 as the Regional Technical Advisor, South East Asia for the Alive & Thrive Initiative. Her work has focused on maternal and child health & nutrition and rural water supply and sanitation. Her core areas of technical expertise are behavior change communication, research and policy engagement.  





1) Wendy Al Rubaie, Consultant, UAE

Have helped breastfeeding mothers all her working life and had lived in the United Arab Emirates for 34 years working as a midwife.

She is an IBCLC

Founder member of Breastfeeding Friends/ UAE Lactation Consultants Society  

Member of the UAE Baby Friendly Assessors Team & have worked on the UAE Draft Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes.

What does gender equity mean in the UAE? How has the UAE addressed it in the context of maternity /paternity/parental protection? What challenges still exist?


  1. Dr. Kristin Svensson, Karolinska Institute, Sweden

Professional midwife, specialising in breastfeeding. She has over 30 years of experience in breastfeeding support. She currently works at the Breastfeeding Centre, Karolinska University Hospital and Karolinska Institutet.

What does gender equity mean in Sweden? How has Sweden addressed it in the context of maternity/paternity/parental protection?

What challenges still exist?


  1. Natko Geres, Men Care

Program Officer at Promundo, where he focuses both on research related to men and gender equality and on men's engagement in post-conflict and high-violence settings.

What role do men have in SRHR and childcare? What are the lessons learned by involving men in this area?

What are the challenges in various contexts?


  1. Dr. Arijit Nandi, Mc Gill University, Canada

Assistant Professor jointly appointed at the Institute for Health and Social Policy and the Department of Epidemiology, Biostatistics, and Occupational Health at McGill University. The principal investigator of a research project to assess the effects of social policies on health outcomes prioritized by the UN Millennium Development Goals, Arijit is primarily interested in the understanding the effects of social policies on health and health inequalities in a global context.

Impact of MP/parental policies on breastfeeding and Public Health.


  1. Laura Adatti, ILO

“Maternity Protection and Work-Family Specialist” at the Conditions of Work and Equality Department (WORQUALITY), in Geneva. At the ILO, she leads global research on maternity protection and work-family policies. She also provides technical assistance on these topics to governments, trade unions and employers’ organizations in a broad range of countries in Asia, Africa, Latina America and Eastern Europe.

ILO perspectives on maternity and paternity

at work. Opportunities and challenges at country level in implementing the ILO Conventions.


  1. Dr. Felicity Savage who presented on behalf of Dr. Miriam Labbok, WABA

Current Chairperson of WABA Steering Committee.

She was a pioneer in the development of the breastfeeding movement in the 1980s, leading up to the formulation of the Innocenti Declaration in 1991 and the inception of WABA.

Impact of breastfeeding on health and wellbeing at various levels. The importance of the circles of support for breastfeeding in the context of women’s work. The challenges that remain for breastfeeding rates to increase.



  1. Serena de Bonnet, International Confederation of Midwives

Midwife and IBCLC. She is the National Coordinator of Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative, Belgium.

Feminist perspectives on women’s multiple roles, including breastfeeding. Opportunities and challenges for integrating breastfeeding into the women’s agenda.

  1. Anouk Jolin, Amnningshjalpen, Sweden

Member of the Swedish Mother to Mother Support Group. She is the initiator of the National project on Breastfeeding course for expectant parents.

Prenatal and postnatal parents perspectives.

  1. Adrianna Logalbo, 1,000 days

Managing Director at 1,000 days.  She brings a decade of experience in engaging communities on some of the world’s most pressing global challenges, from malaria to malnutrition

Working with groups in US fighting for paid maternity leave.

  1. Viana Maza, LAC WABA

Degree in Clinical Psychology, Masters in Public Health, Doula and midwifery student/apprentice. She does clinical work from the perspective of psychology and perinatal prevention of mental disorders.

Latin American

perspectives on women, work and breastfeeding.

  1. Mimi Maza, LAC WABA

Mimi is WABA’s Steering Committee Member and has been involved with Mother Support through LLLI for the past 25 years.

Since 2004 she has been working in the Ministry of Health in Guatemala responsible for the Breastfeeding Component, the BFHI, and Coordinator of the National Commission for Breastfeeding.

Latin American

perspectives on women, work and breastfeeding.

Panel Discussion 3: Expanding the scope of maternity/paternity protection/support for the informal economy.

Objective: To identify the practical challenges of reaching the informal economy workers with breastfeeding support and identify creative solutions

Moderator- Sarah Amin, Senior Consultant, WABA

Sarah Amin, former Executive Director of WABA has been with WABA since 1992 and was part of the coordination of the first World Breastfeeding Week and the launch of the Mother-Friendly Workplace Initiative (MFWI) celebrated in 1993. Her core work area in WABA has been in Women & Work and Gender Programme.

Facilitator- Belinda Calaguas, Consultant, WABA  

Bel had been involved as student organizer, trainer, researcher into land and peasant issues as well as a development journalist covering rural development, women’s issues and human rights. She has coordinated migrant & refugee community groups and advocated on their issues, and has worked as Head or Director of Policy and Campaigns departments in WaterAid, ActionAid-UK and ActionAid International. She now works as a freelance consultant and volunteers for organizations working on migration and older people/people with dementia.





  1. Gloria Ndekia, KEPSA, Kenya

Trustee of Kenya Private Sector Alliance Foundation. She has over 17 years experience working for Women’s  Economic Empowerment Programmes in Kenya, particularly in empowering women for Sustainable livelihoods; Raising awareness on women on economic opportunities in Kenya ; Creating innovative ideas to promote the visibility of women.

Experiences and challenges of informal economy workers (needs and organising structures).


  1. Dr. Leena Hannula, Helsinki Metropolia University

Senior lecturer and researcher for Helsinki Metropolia University of Applied Sciences. Since her 2003 doctoral thesis about the perceptions and outcomes of breastfeeding in Finland she has been involved in developing breastfeeding support interventions and research.

Reaching multi-diverse populations with health and social services. A Nordic perspective.


  1. Emmeline L Verzosa, Phillipines Women Commission

Executive Director of the Philippine Commission on Women (PCW).

She has over 35 years of experience in gender and development, women’s empowerment, health and nutrition first as an NGO worker, a nutrition professor, an independent consultant,

Ways of working with informal economy workers. Needs and challenges. Examples of specific SRHR/childcare/breastfeeding programs.


  1. Laura Kiege, UNICEF Kenya

Nutrition specialist (Maternal Infant and Young Child Nutrition, MIYCN) in UNICEF Kenya. In this capacity she provides technical support on MIYCN to the country through the Nutrition Unit in the Ministry of health. She also provides technical support to UNICEF and implementing partners across the country on the MIYCN program.

Opportunities for working with the informal economy for maternity protection- UN programs at national level.


  1. Dr. Rukhsana Haider, WABA

Co-Chair of the WABA Steering Committee. She is a Public Health Specialist, from Dhaka, Bangladesh. Previously a Regional Adviser, Nutrition, for the South-East Region of the World Health Organization, in Delhi, India, she is the Founder and Chairperson of the Training and Assistance for Health & Nutrition (TAHN) Foundation.

Peer counselling approach to supporting breastfeeding in the communities: a case of garment factory workers in Bangladesh. Opportunities and challenges.


  1. Biplabi Shresta, ARROW

Senior Programme Officer at Asian- Pacific Resource and Research Centre for Women (ARROW) based in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia. She coordinates one of ARROW’s multi- country partnership project titled Women’s Health and Rights Advocacy Partnership (WHRAP)-South Asia, which is an international partnership with a regional voice that brings together women led organizations and other civil society actors for evidence based advocacy on women’s health and rights in four countries in South Asia including Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Pakistan.

Innovation in approaches to informal economy workers. Opportunities and challenges.