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Violence and the right to health: A focus on obstetric violence

- South African Human Rights Commission

CALS is partnering with the Human Rights Commission and the Wits School of Law to host a conversation with the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to health

The South African Human Rights Commission’s Gauteng Provincial Office is partnering with the Centre for Applied Legal Studies (CALS) and the Wits School of Law to host a dialogue with the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the right to health, Dr. Tlaleng Mofokeng. Dr Mofokeng will be in conversation with Dr Jess Rucell, expert advisor to CALS, and SAHRC senior researcher Yuri Ramkissoon, on violence and the right to health, focusing on obstetric violence.

Obstetric violence refers to the ‘disrespect and abuse occasioned on pregnant persons during facility-based childbirth and the postpartum period.’[1] It is also referred to as mistreatment of women, dehumanised care, or disrespect and abuse during childbirth.[2]. The dialogue will be a platform for those working on gender equality and health rights to discuss how their institutions understand the impact of obstetric violence on pregnant persons, families, and health systems. It will also allow for discussion on the systemic interventions required to eradicate this particular form of gender-based violence.

The event details will be as follows:

Date: 25 July 2022

Time: 13:00-15:00 (SAST)

Venue: Chalsty Centre, Wits University

The dialogue can also be streamed on the SAHRC YouTube channel and Facebook page

For further information, please contact:

[1] C Williams and Others 'Obstetric violence: a Latin American legal response to mistreatment during childbirth (2018) 125 BJOG: International Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology at 1208–1211.

[2] LP Freedman ‘Defining Disrespect and abuse of women in childbirth: A research, policy and rights agenda’ (2014) 92(12) Bulletin of the World Health Organization at 915 -917.