Why do we use The Golden Bow as the symbol for breastfeeding protection, promotion and support?
It's Meaning and Purpose:
Many social change efforts have used ribbons and pins to create a sense of belonging to a social movement. While The Golden Bow serves this purpose, but it is unique in that it is not simply a symbol for social change, but carries many meanings within its own design. The Golden Bow is, in and of itself, a lesson in the protection, promotion and support of breastfeeding.
Gold: The use of the gold colour for the bow symbolises that breastfeeding is the gold standard for infant feeding, against which any other alternative should be compared and judged.
A Bow: Why do we use a bow, rather than the looped ribbon of most campaigns? Each part of the bow carries a special message:
One loop represents the mother.
The other loop represents the child.
The ribbon is symmetrical, telling us the mother and child are both vital to successful breastfeeding - neither is to the left nor to the right, signifying neither is precedent, both are needed.
The knot is the father, the family and the society. Without the knot, there would be no bow; without the support, breastfeeding cannot succeed. The ribbons are the future: the exclusive breastfeeding for six months,a nd continued breastfeeding for 2 years or more with appropriate complmentary feeding, and the delay of the next birth, preferably for 3 years or more, to give the mother and child time together to recover and to grow, respectively, and to five the mother the time she needs to provide active care for the health, growth and development of this child.
Origins: While we have not been able to identify the origins of this symbolism, it has been in scattered use for about 8-10 years.
Much has been written about breastfeeding as "the gold standard" for infant feeding (http://www.naba-breastfeeding.org will soon carry an article first published in 1995 on this issue).
The Future: UNICEF is proud to launch this symbol and educational campaign on the 12th anniversary of the Innocenti Declaration. Please wear it proudly, and tell everyone who asks of its many meanings.