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Thursday, December 2, 2021

British lawmaker reprimanded for bringing child to debate

About a third of British legislators are women. But women legislators in the UK and legislators around the world have long faced obstacles, including the lack of paid maternity leave. They have also experienced frequent stinging bullying and abuse, both online and in person. In 2019, 19 women MPs in the British Parliament said they had decided not to seek re-election. Some have argued that this decision influenced abuse.

Alex Davis-Jones, a Labor MP, said in an interview that she met with Mr. Hoyle, the Speaker when she joined parliament in 2019, and that he assured her that she could breastfeed her newborn baby in the wards. if necessary. The debate can last six hours or more, she said, which puts nursing mothers in a difficult position.

“It looks like a return to the progress that we have really made,” she said. Parliament, she said, “should be a ray of light in terms of equality and representation” and serve as an example of what companies should do.

Mr. Hoyle said in parliament that he has heard a number of views from lawmakers with babies. “This House should be able to work professionally and without hindrance,” he said. “However, there may sometimes be times when the chairman is free to act on his own, believing that things are not being violated.”

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In 2018, Senator Tammy Duckworth, a Democrat from Illinois, became the first lawmaker to bring an infant into the Senate Hall when she arrived with her daughter Mail, then 10 days old, to vote against the approval of NASA’s new administrator.

Mail’s arrival comes after months of behind-the-scenes negotiations in the Senate, which previously did not allow children to participate in speeches. Senators voted unanimously to allow babies under one year of age to be brought into the cell.

“What if there are 10 babies in the Senate hall?” Orrin G. Hatch, then-Republican Senator from Utah, asked at the time, the Associated Press reported. Senator Amy Klobuchar, a Democrat from Minnesota, replied, “That would be wonderful and enjoyable.”

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