Breastfeeding to be protected under anti-discrim laws

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Breastfeeding to be protected under anti-discrim laws

Australia’s discrimination laws are being beefed up to provide better protection for people with family responsibilities, and will for the first time protect women who are breastfeeding from being discriminated against.

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Australia’s discrimination laws are being beefed up to provide better protection for people with family responsibilities, and will for the first time protect women who are breastfeeding from being discriminated against.
 
Discrimination via texting, social networking and cyber bullying will also now come under the anti-discrimination laws.
 
Attorney-General Robert McClelland this week introduced legislation to the House of Representatives to amend the current laws.
 
‘These changes will ensure that our anti-discrimination laws meet the needs of contemporary Australians and will also make it easier for people to understand their rights and responsibilities,’ McClelland said.
 
The amendments to the Sex Discrimination Act 1984 will:
  • establish breastfeeding as a separate ground of discrimination
  • extend protections from discrimination on the grounds of family responsibilities to both women and men in all areas of employment
  • ensure that protections from sex discrimination apply equally to women and men
  • provide greater protection from sexual harassment for students and workers.
 
The new laws will provide greater protection to children from sexual harassment including texting, social networking, and other forms of cyber bullying.
 
Economic equality
 
McClelland said strengthening protections for workers with family responsibilities is an important step towards achieving economic equality between women and men.
 
The Bill is part of the government’s response to the report of the Senate Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs into eliminating discrimination and promoting gender equality.
 
The government will also consider other recommendations from the Committee’s Report as part of its commitment in Australia’s Human Rights Framework to consolidate anti-discrimination legislation into a single comprehensive law.
 
Details
 
Details on the legislation are available online.
 
 
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