Statement on International Day on the Elimination of Violence against Women: Time to stop obstetric violence

25.11.17

La Goccia Magica, CiaoLapo, the Italian Obstetric Violence Observatory and Make Mothers Matter (MMM) spotlight the need to promote respectful maternity care in full compliance with the World Health Organization (WHO) statement.

On 25th November 2017, La Goccia Magica, CiaoLapo, the Italian Obstetric Violence Observatory and Make Mothers Matter (MMM) spotlight the need to promote respectful maternity care in full compliance with the World Health Organization (WHO) statement.[1] We urge Governments to eliminate all forms of obstetric violence, institutional[2] and against women, according to article 12 of the CEDAW Convention.[3]

Many women across the globe still experience disrespectful, abusive or neglectful treatment during pregnancy, childbirth and postpartum care. Women in vulnerable situations are particularly likely to experience disrespectful and abusive treatments.

Although, in some countries (Venezuela, Argentina, Mexico, Chile, Brazil) laws are in place to eliminate obstetric violence, in the rest of the world the phenomenon is not even acknowledged. It is almost impossible for women to report it, as it is considered “normal”, both in medical as well as in legal contexts.

The first Italian survey[4] conducted by Doxa Institute in September 2017, commissioned by national civil society associations of mothers, found that one in three Italian women felt excluded from fundamental choices related to her childbirth.

Finally, we are launching a 16 day campaign until International Human Rights Day on 10th December 2017 to end obstetric violence around the world. To participate, please use #obstetricviolence and #orangetheworld because every woman has the right to the highest attainable standard of health, including the right to dignified, respectful health care throughout pregnancy and childbirth, as well as the right to be free from violence and discrimination.

The full statement 

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