Monday, 21 April 2014

Happy News From La Leche League on Leader Eligibility

I think? Maybe? The title of this post might better read, “Unclear News From La Leche League, but it’s an Update of Some Sort.”

La Leche League Canada has published a media statement about a change in leader eligibility. Exactly what the change is, we don’t know. The press release states that LLLC’s new approach has come as a direct result of an update from La Leche League International, LLLC’s governing body. From LLLC’s statement:

In recent weeks the La Leche League International Board of Directors has updated their internal Policies regarding eligibility to apply for leadership to be consistent with their Bylaws Preamble: “LLLI is a worldwide, educational, nonsectarian, nondiscriminatory service organization which has been incorporated in Illinois as a general not-for-profit corporation.” LLL Leaders have breastfed a baby for at least nine months and have demonstrated a commitment to the philosophy of La Leche League.

So, this is vague, as it doesn’t explain what the update in policy actually is, but there are a few items of note. We know they probably didn’t update leader eligibility policies to be consistent with being “worldwide” or “educational”: the organization has met both of those ideals for decades. I’m also quite sure you could argue it has always been nonsectarian. Therefore, I’m going to guess that the update in policy has to do with nondiscrimination. I’m hoping that it has to do with gender, and that it means that an individual of any gender can now apply to be a La Leche League Leader if they meet the necessary qualifications. (get caught up by reading LLLC's previous media release about the eligibility of transgender applicants)

The next sentence is very, very special: “LLL Leaders have breastfed a baby for at least nine months and have demonstrated a commitment to the philosophy of La Leche League.” Gendered terms such as woman and mother are nowhere to be found. If you’ve spent any time on LLL web sites or working with LLL, you will know that this is rare, and very probably done on purpose.

At the end of its press release, LLLC states that it has updated its own policies to be consistent with LLLI’s recently made change, and to be “in keeping with the Canadian Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms and the Canadian Human Rights Act.” It is still not affirmed specifically that people who do not identify as women may apply to be Leaders, but I’m going to hope that this is (at least part of?) what they mean!

I was unable to find a related press release on LLL International’s site.

YAY, La Leche League!!! (I think)


14 comments:

  1. Yes, the removal of any reference to mothers and women is quite deliberate and, yes, breastfeeding (chestfeeding) fathers can apply!!!

    Teresa Pitman

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  2. I am very excited, when will we hear more I wonder?? Teresa how do you know?
    Jenna

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    1. I talked to the Chair of Canada's Board of Directors about it! And she said, yes, that is what it means.

      Teresa

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    2. Wow! Teresa that is awesome! Thanks for finding this out :)

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  4. WOOT!!! Thanks Teresa!! That is amazing news <3
    Jenna

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  5. Wow. ..great job LOL! ! Thx for leading the way again! Congrats to you Trevor. I know you have been involved in this one personally. You really do continue to make a positive impact don't you?! :)

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  6. This is good news indeed!

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  7. Very happy news! Thanks for leading the way.

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  8. Thank you for leading the way to the affirmation that LLL is indeed an inclusive and non-discriminatory organization.

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