An International Multi-Stakeholder Meeting on Disrespect and Abuse in Childbirth (Obstetric Violence)
On Sunday 17 September, Reproductive Health Matters hosted a successful day-long satellite meeting on disrespect and abuse in childbirth, or “obstetric violence.” Read More
A panel discussion during the 61st session of the Commission on the Status of Women. Hosted by Reproductive Health Matters, International Rescue Committee, World Health Organization, Women’s Refugee Committee, Columbia University, and Ipas. Read More
A EuroNGOS conference side event hosted by Médecins du Monde and Reproductive Health Matters. Read More
RHM participated in and co-sponsored a panel discussion (alongside UNFPA, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and member states Canada, Sweden, and Uruguay), organised by the WHO Department of Reproductive Health and Research, during the 32 Human Rights Council in Geneva in June 2016.
RHM’s Director presented key findings from RHM’s latest journal issue on Violence: a barrier to SRHR, highlighting the concern over the prevalence of gender-based violence including sexual violence among refugee and migrant women, as well as abusive and disrespectful treatment of women in child birth in healthcare systems.
“A number of papers in this journal issue focus on the more recent refugee crisis emerging from the conflict in Syria. One of the papers highlights the multiple forms of violence that refugees, including Syrian women, are subject to throughout the different stages of their journey and in destination countries in Europe. As many countries are focusing on tightening border control and enforce restrictions, the paper emphasizes how these efforts further exacerbates their vulnerability to sexual violence by smugglers as they make their way to Europe […] The new circumstances created by migration also influences internal gender dynamics and power relations within families, with evidence indicating an increase in incidences of domestic violence. Another paper highlights the increased prevalence of gender based violence including early marriage and transactional sex among the refugee population in Lebanon and underlines the multiple barriers, including the high cost of sexual and reproductive health services as family planning and emergency obstetric care in an already stretched health system in Lebanon. The paper further highlights prevalent treatment and mistreatment of refugee women in health care settings including refusal of admission while in labour and forced C-section.
The disrespectful and neglectful treatment of women in childbirth in healthcare systems, not only among refugee women but in general, is another emerging concern that is covered by some papers in this journal issue. The phenomenon, which is increasingly recognised as a form of violence, is framed as obstetric violence in some Latin American countries and included in the legislations. Addressing this form of mistreatment and abuse from a human rights perspective aims to highlight the structural dimension of violence, increasing its visibility as it has been one of the most invisible forms of violence against women and violation of their sexual and reproductive health and rights.”