Pakatan Rakyat Members of Parliament (MPs) are asking for a childcare centre to be set up in Parliament.
Breast feeding rooms at Parliament
Serdang MP Teo Ni Ching (DAP – Serdang) and her colleague Nurul Izzah Anwar (PKR – Lembah Pantai) call for both state and federal government to set up a fully equipped breast feeding room with a crèche to accommodate nursing mothers.
“This is not only for MPs but also all working mothers with children, be it Parliament staffers and reporters, to showcase political will and care for mothers and their young,” said Teo.
More childcare centres should be set up
The MPs also urged the government to pay more attention to assist working mothers in the country by setting up more childcare centres across all government agencies.
In a press conference, Teo said that this is vital if the government is serious about reaching their target of a female labour participation rate of 55% by 2015.
Teo said that there are only 71 childcare centres established at various government agencies and only 20 childcare centres in the private sector.
She said that this figure is “insufficient and highly unsatisfactory,” adding that both federal and state government offices should also set up breast feeding rooms to help working mothers.
Government should lead the way
“The government has to lead the way,” said the DAP assistant national publicity-secretary, who brought her four-month old baby Jinger to Parliament.
Teo explained that she was inspired by Italian MP Licia Ronzulli, who had brought her 44-day old daughter to work with her two years ago as a symbolic gesture to reclaim more rights for women in reconciling work and family life.
Government slow to implement measures
Bukit Mertajam MP Chong Eng said while the government offered incentives for the private sector to do so, the response has been lukewarm.
“The government has to lead the way as the private sector has been slow to implement these measures for their female staff,” she said.
She adds that Penang is currently working on a childcare policy.
Source: MPs call for childcare centre in Parliament
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