Respectful Maternity Care
Respectful maternity care (RMC) is a universal human right that is due to every childbearing woman in every health system. Women’s experiences with maternity caregivers can empower and comfort them, or inflict lasting damage and emotional trauma. While many interventions aim to improve access to skilled birth care, the quality of relationships with caregivers during maternity care has received less attention. Evidence suggests that in countries with high maternal mortality, the fear of disrespect and abuse that women often encounter in facility-based maternity care is a more powerful deterrent to use of skilled care than commonly recognized barriers such as cost or distance.
In 2011, WRA launched a global campaign to promote a clear standard for RMC that is rooted in international human rights. Working with other global organizations, WRA produced a ground breaking consensus document, the Respectful Maternity Care Charter: the Universal Rights of Childbearing Women, which demonstrates the legitimate place of maternal health rights in the broader context of human rights. In 2015, White Ribbon Alliance continues to build visibility and coverage of this issue, and envisions a world in which a woman’s right to RMC is embedded at all levels of maternal health systems.
Since its development, the RMC Charter has been translated into eight languages and is being used globally to talk about the problem of disrespect and abuse during maternity care. It is also being used as a tool to educate health workers about maternity care and human rights, and to raise awareness of the problem in a way that avoids blaming and shaming. To support this effort, WRA produced a range of materials that include guidebooks, infographics, films, and presentations to help increase visibility of this issue. Once the Charter gained momentum, it was endorsed by the World Health Organization, the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics, and the International Confederation of Midwives.
To read more about our work and campaigns on Respectful Maternity Care, please download this impact brief.
June 12, 2014
By Lennie Kamwendo Health Services Commissioner, Malawi and former president of the Association...VIEW MORE
September 26, 2013
Title: A Guide for Advocating for Respectful Maternity CareAuthor(s): Tamara...VIEW MORE
August 1, 2013
Imagine walking through a hospital that is overcrowded and understaffed, and the help that you need...VIEW MORE
June 12, 2013
By Felicity Ukoko Queen’s and King George Hospitals’ maternity services is striving to improve...VIEW MORE