A new law was passed earlier this year- titled the Child’s Rights Law- and states that it is the child’s right to be breastfed, meaning that breastfeeding is mandatory in the state.
The breastfeeding clause was added to the Child’s Rights Law after the legislation was put up for review.
According to the MailOnline, the council that reviewed the law said that it was a woman’s ‘duty’ to breastfeed as opposed to an option.
The law came off the back of research that showed the benefits of breastfeeding.
It is not yet clear how the state will support women who are unable to breastfeed due to medical reasons.
The UAE’s minister of Social Affairs, Miriam Al Roumi, spoke out against the law, saying that it would enable men to sue their wives if they chose to or weren’t able to comfortably breastfeed.
She told The National: ‘this part of the law can be a burden… If the law forced women to breastfeed, this could lead to new court cases.’
A group based in Dubai that supports women with post-natal depression has also spoken out against mandatory breastfeeding.
A spokesperson said: ‘As a group we wholeheartedly agree that breastfeeding should be encouraged and that the sentiment is a good one that clearly follows international guidelines.’
They continued: 'however, as many of the new mothers we encounter are already under significant pressure, we are concerned that enacting a law that leaves mothers facing potential punishment could be a step too far.’