Respectful Maternity Care: A Basic Human Right

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By: Sarah Hodin, Project Coordinator II, Women and Health Initiative, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

Respectful maternity care is not only a crucial component of quality of care; it is a human right. In 2014, WHO released a statement calling for the prevention and elimination of disrespect and abuse during childbirth, stating that “every woman has the right to the highest attainable standard of health, including the right to dignified, respectful care during pregnancy and childbirth.”…read more

Promoting Respectful Maternity Care in Tanzania

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By: Sarah Hodin, Project Coordinator II, Women and Health Initiative, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

Disrespect and abuse during childbirth has been observed and recorded all around the world. In addition to being a human rights violation, disrespect and abuse during childbirth discourages women who experience it from seeking health care in the future and ultimately results in poor health outcomes. As a result, a number of organizations, including the World Health Organization (WHO), have called for improved measurement, programs and advocacy addressing this global issue. With support from The John and Katie Hansen Foundation and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Maternal Health Task Force (MHTF) established a research project to measure the prevalence of disrespect and abuse during childbirth in Tanzania and Ethiopia and to develop effective interventions…read more

Respect During Childbirth Is a Right, Not a Luxury

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By: Claire Baldwin, Communications, Maternal and Child Survival Program (MCSP) and Susan Moffson, Senior Program Officer, MCSP

Respectful maternity care is sometimes framed as a ‘soft issue’ without the same urgency as emergency obstetric services, but the consequences of mistreatment can be serious and far-reaching. As we celebrate International Day for Maternal Health and Rights, let’s bring mistreatment of women and RMC to the forefront as an urgent priority in global health care strategies…read more