5 Politicians Who Brought Their Babies to Work Like Sen. Tammy Duckworth Did Today

April 19, 2018, 8:59 PM UTC
Sen. Tammy Duckworth Brings New Baby To Work After New Senate Law Passes
WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 19: U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) arrives at the U.S. Capitol with her newborn baby daughter Maile Pearl Bowlsbey for a vote on the Senate floor April 19, 2018 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. The Senate has voted through by unanimous consent last night to change rules to allow newborn babies under one year old on the floor during votes. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Alex Wong—Getty Images

Illinois Senator Tammy Duckworth made history today—again.

Earlier this month, she became the first sitting senator to give birth while in office. Today she was poised to be the first senator to bring a child on the Senate floor, after a rule change that allows senators to bring children under 1 year-old onto the Senate floor.

Although a Duckworth is a trailblazer among U.S. politicians, political leaders in other countries have been able to take their babies and children to work for some time.

Senate Babies, Washington, USA - 19 Apr 2018
Sen. Tammy Duckworth arrives at the Capitol for a close vote with her new daughter, Maile, on April 19. Photograph by J. Scott Applewhite—AP/REX/Shutterstock
J. Scott Applewhite—AP/REX/Shutterstock

Carolina Bescansas, from Spain’s Podemos party, stirred controversy in 2016 when she breastfed her five-month old baby in Parliament. “I think that the fact that coming to parliament with a breast-fed baby makes the news says a lot about this country,” she said. “That means we need to give more visibility to this.”

Left wing party Podemos’ deputy Carolina Bescansa (R) holds her baby during the constitution of the Congress in Madrid on January 13, 2016.Pierre-Philippe Marcou—AFP/Getty Images
Pierre-Philippe Marcou—AFP/Getty Images

She wasn’t the first or only European politician to make headlines from bringing her child to work.

Italian MEP Licia Ronzulli brought her baby girl to work in 2010, just six weeks after giving birth. Her decision to bring baby Vittoria to vote was not a “political gesture but a maternal,” according to one interview.

Italy's Member of the European Parliament Ronzulli takes part with her daughter Victoria in a voting session at the European Parliament in Strasbourg
Italy’s Member of the European Parliament Licia Ronzulli (C) takes part with her daughter Victoria in a voting session at the European Parliament in Strasbourg Oct. 23, 2012.Vincent Kessler—Reuters
Vincent Kessler—Reuters

In Japan, Yuka Ogata, a Kumamoto Muni assembly member, brought along her seven-month son to a meeting last year. She was forced to leave the floor with her son. Officials from the assembly argued that although there was no explicit rule prohibiting infants, they cited a rule stating visitors are forbidden on the floor.

Kumamoto City assembly member Yuka Ogata holds her baby during a session in Kumamoto
Kumamoto City assembly member Yuka Ogata holds her seven-month-old baby during a session in Kumamoto, Japan. Kyodo via Reuters
Kyodo via Reuters

Australian Senator Larissa Waters took her seat in Parliament last year and voted on legislation in May. She did so while also breastfeeding her two-month old daughter on the floor. “I am so proud that my daughter Alia is the first baby to be breastfed in the Federal Parliament,” Waters said in May. “We need more women and parents in Parliament. And we need more family-friendly and flexible workplaces, and affordable childcare, for everyone.”

Australian Greens Senator Larissa Waters at Parliament House in Canberra, Australia - 22 Jun 2017
Australian Greens Senator Larissa Waters kisses her daughter Alia Joy after putting forward a motion on Black Lung disease in the Senate Chamber in Australia on June 22, 2017. Lukas Coch—EPA/REX/Shutterstock
Lukas Coch—EPA/REX/Shutterstock

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