2L Rebecca Rosefelt Receives MWL Equal Justice Award
Minnesota Women Lawyers (MWL) recently named 2L Rebecca Rosefelt as the 2018 recipient of the MWL Equal Justice Award.
MWL annually invites all Minnesota law students to submit papers on topics involving law and social justice for consideration for the Equal Justice Award.
Rosefelt received the award for her paper, “Empowerment to Breastfeed as a Right: Making Minneapolis a Global Leader in Women’s Rights.” Rosefelt, a former Human Rights Center Fellow, originally wrote the paper for the Human Rights Center’s Poverty and Human Rights Seminar. The seminar requires all students to submit a final paper on a human rights-related topic of their choice. The award carries with it a $1,000 cash prize.
“Breastfeeding is an under-discussed legal and public health topic, and an issue I was inspired to explore because of my mother’s incredible work as a breastfeeding medicine specialist,” Rosefelt said. “In the U.S., there are few protections for breastfeeding mothers, even though all health institutions recognize the benefits of breastfeeding for both women and children. Many other countries have robust maternity laws that enable women to feed their children breastmilk, such as extended paid maternity leave and paid work breaks to pump milk.”
Rosefelt went to point out that that many low-income women simply cannot afford to lose paid working time, and thus are financially barred from breastfeeding their children. “This obstacle disproportionately affects women of color,” she added.
MWL also recognized 3L Trevor Matthews with an honorable mention for his paper, “Most Integrated Setting: Omstead, Fry and Segregated Public Schools for Students with Disabilities.”