UNICEF Breastfeeding: Mothers@Work


The Situation

As Bangladesh navigates middle-income status, it is undergoing key demographic changes. Despite decreasing fertility rates, nearly 10,000 infants are born in Bangladesh every single day. However, ensuring ideal infant and young child feeding (IYCF) practices —including early initiation of breastfeeding, exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months, complementary foods, and availing health services —still remains a key challenge for Bangladesh.

The Insight

Given the high female labor participation rate (33.5%), workplace-based initiatives are essential to ensure breastfeeding practice is sustained among working mothers. Creating an enabling environment in the workplace for breastfeeding is key to supporting working mothers to nurture their newborns while continuing their employment.

The Approach

McCann Global Health was tasked to develop a brand for this effort focused on the ready-made garment industry along with a comprehensive toolkit containing the training modules, A/V training aids, and SBCC communication materials that would promote an enabling environment to drive maternity protection and breastfeeding in the workplace and link it with community-based interventions.

The Outputs

Partnered with local Dhaka-based communications agency Purplewood Ltd to develop an intense 6-month work plan that included multiple in-person meetings and workshops, site visits and interviews, brand development, local research, toolkit content build and design, event materials/production, and day-to-day management of the project from both Dhaka and New York. The program, named Mothers@Work, was launched on August 17 by the Honorable State Minister of Labor and Employment in Dhaka. The launch was done jointly with Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, UNICEF, and ILO. Representatives from key organizations and associations for the garment sector were present and made remarks, including BKMEA, BGMEA, Bangladesh Employers’ Federation, and the Women’s Labour League.