10 Ways to Say No to Violence Against Women and Children in Maternity Care

Violence in Maternity care is the intersection between institutional violence (of a system) and violence against women during pregnancy, during the actual birth and during the post natal period after the birth. Violence against pregnant women and women giving birth happens in different ways in both the public medical care system and the private medical care system. For so many women, pregnancy is linked to suffering, humiliation, poor health and even death.

Obstetric violence occurs through both invasive practices like performing an examination without a woman’s permission as well as through the denial of treatment during childbirth. A woman may be ignored and left unattended during labour, denied pain relief, and/or verbally humiliated. Assistance to a woman transferred from one facility to another may be delayed unnecessarily. A woman in labour may be slapped, hit, forced to lie in an uncomfortable position, and be coerced into receiving unnecessary and or unwanted interventions or medication. Women in some countries are discharged from hospital and their babies are detained in hospital until the mother pays the bill.

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The views of the above article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Africa Speaks 4 Africa or its editorial team.

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