In 2010, the problem of disrespect and abuse (D&A) during childbirth was documented extensively in a landscape analysis by Diana Bowser and Kathleen Hill. Galvanized by this report, the White Ribbon Alliance founded the Respectful Maternity Care (RMC) Global Council, a group of maternal health experts dedicated to advocating for RMC and the elimination of D&A.
Over the past seven years, the RMC advocacy movement has brought D&A out into the open and made RMC a key component of the global maternal health agenda. Research has proliferated that explores the prevalence and drivers of D&A during facility-based childbirth in a number of settings along with interventions to address the issue. While these efforts have helped to highlight every woman’s right to receive woman-centered, high quality care, literature documenting the impact of RMC advocacy efforts is limited.
To address this evidence gap, the Maternal Health Task Force (MHTF) is developing a case study on D&A and RMC awareness-raising efforts that will elicit insights for the RMC Global Council and other human rights advocates. The case study will inform the design of a novel communication framework that describes influential factors for effective awareness-raising campaigns related to health policy and human rights issues. The case study and communication framework will be useful for understanding the successes of RMC advocacy efforts and for planning and evaluating future campaigns to create momentum in other areas of health and human rights.