Healthcare professionals must recognize importance of human rights to improve healthcare for women

April 14, 2015

Women's human rights need to be addressed globally in order to reduce maternal mortality and morbidity, says RCOG Vice President, Professor Lesley Regan, in her lecture tomorrow at the joint RCOG/RANZCOG World Congress in Brisbane, Australia.

Professor Regan's presentation 'Why mothers die: Women's human rights' focuses on the impact of human rights on women's reproductive health and the role of healthcare professionals in improving the status of women worldwide.

In 1948, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights stated that all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. By 2009, the UN Human Rights Council had acknowledged that preventable maternal mortality was a human rights violation, and health advocates started using human rights mechanisms to make Governments honour their commitment to ensure access to services essential for reproductive health and wellbeing.

A human rights approach to women's healthcare is essential, notes Professor Regan. It not only provides valuable tools to hold Governments legally accountable to address the preventable causes of maternal death, but also allows for the distribution of resources and medicines, such as effective contraception and misoprostol to reduce postpartum haemorrhage, a leading cause of maternal mortality globally.

However, Professor Regan notes that far too many countries are turning a blind eye to a human rights approach, and gender inequalities and violence, including child marriage, rape and female genital mutilation are rife.

Healthcare professionals have an important role to play in tackling gender inequalities and domestic violence and are often the first and only point of contact for women to reach out to.

Professor Lesley Regan says:

"A critically important reason why global efforts to reduce maternal mortality and morbidity have been slow is the low value that society, political, religious, community and family leaders have placed on a woman's life.

"The contributions made by mothers to society are far reaching and countries that fail to protect women's rights have the worst economic, educational, maternal and child health outcomes.

"Advocacy for women is an obligation for everyone engaged in reproductive healthcare. It is therefore crucial that all healthcare professionals understand how to embed human rights principles into every aspect of their delivery of care.

"Women should know about their rights when accessing healthcare. We need to empower them with the knowledge they need to help us protect and preserve their fundamental rights."
-end-


Wiley

Related Violence Articles from Brightsurf:

Combined intimate partner violence that includes sexual violence is common & more damaging
Women who experience sexual violence combined with other forms of intimate partner violence suffer greater damage to their health and are much more likely to attempt suicide, according to a study led by researchers at the University of Bristol's Centre for Academic Primary Care published in the International Journal of Epidemiology today [12 November 2020].

As farming developed, so did cooperation -- and violence
The growth of agriculture led to unprecedented cooperation in human societies, a team of researchers, has found, but it also led to a spike in violence, an insight that offers lessons for the present.

The front line of environmental violence
Environmental defenders on the front line of natural resource conflict are being killed at an alarming rate, according to a University of Queensland study.

What can trigger violence in postcolonial Africa?
Why do civil wars and coups d'├ętat occur more frequently in some sub-Saharan African countries than others.

Another victim of violence: Trust in those who mean no harm
Exposure to violence does not change the ability to learn who is likely to do harm, but it does damage the ability to place trust in 'good people,' psychologists at Yale and University of Oxford report April 26 in the journal Nature Communications

Victims of gun violence tell their stories: Everyday violence, 'feelings of hopelessness'
Invited to share their personal stories, victims of urban gun violence describe living with violence as a 'common everyday experience' and feeling abandoned by police and other societal institutions, reports a study in the November/December Journal of Trauma Nursing, official publication of the Society of Trauma Nurses.

Does more education stem political violence?
In a study released online today in Review of Educational Research, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Educational Research Association, three Norwegian researchers attempt to bring clarity to this question by undertaking the first systematic examination of quantitative research on this topic.

Teen dating violence is down, but boys still report more violence than girls
When it comes to teen dating violence, boys are more likely to report being the victim of violence -- being hit, slapped, or pushed--than girls.

Preventing murder by addressing domestic violence
Victims of domestic violence are at a high risk to be murdered -- or a victim of attempted murder -- according to a Cuyahoga County task force of criminal-justice professionals, victim advocates and researchers working to prevent domestic violence and homicides.

'Love displaces violence'
Art historian Eva-Bettina Krems on persistent motifs of peace in art from antiquity to the present day -- dove, rainbow or victory of love: artists draw on recurring motifs.

Read More: Violence News and Violence Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.