Hannah Ratcliffe | April 2013
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Disrespectful and abusive behaviors during childbirth are fundamental violations of women’s human rights. Additionally, these behaviors are increasingly being recognized for their role in deterring women from seeking skilled birth attendance at healthcare facilities, a practice widely agreed to be key to reducing maternal mortality. Despite convincing evidence of the harmful effects of disrespect and abuse during childbirth, there is very little evidence about which interventions successfully promote increases in respectful maternity care. The goals of this thesis are therefore threefold: 1) To identify risk factors for disrespect and abuse during childbirth and place them into a framework which takes into account the various sub-systems that impact the provision of respectful maternity care; 2) To develop an evidence base of interventions which have the potential to be successful in promoting respectful maternity care; and 3) To use the framework and catalogue of interventions identified to make recommendations for the Hansen Project on Maternal and Child Health, which aims to decrease the prevalence of disrespect and abuse at healthcare facilities in Ethiopia and Tanzania.