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Civil Society Welcomes Inclusion of Obstetric Violence at Presidential Summit on GBVF

Neelam Rahimneelam@radioislam.co.za

2 min read | 10:50 pm CAT

Civil society, including CALS, Embrace, Women’s Legal Centre and Section 27, has welcomed the inclusion of obstetric violence at the Presidential Summit on Gender-Based violence. Organizations have long been lobbying for obstetric violence to be recognized as gender-based violence.

Obstetric violence is a broad term for several types of abuse, including physical, verbal and psychological abuse directed explicitly at a pregnant woman.

In discussion with Radio Islam International, Attorney at Section27, Sibusisiwe Ndlela, said obstetric abuse is the type of violence that occurs in a healthcare setting and is often perpetrated by healthcare practitioners like nurses, doctors and midwives.

“It is a type of violence perpetrated in a health care setting against a pregnant woman,” she says.

Regarding the term of conduct included in obstetric violence, Ndlela said it might consist of forced sterilization and refusal of health care services like anti-natal care to a pregnant woman.

She added that in Section 27, many clients who face obstetric violence are migrant women who are turned away from hospitals.

Part of the cause as the collective advocating for the rights of pregnant persons, Ndlela said, is the recognition that obstetric violence is a form of GBV sanctioned by the State.

She said, “Once it’s recognized, it can be targeted through specific mechanisms and measures put into place.”

Listen to the interview with Moulana Sulaimaan Ravat and Sibusisiwe Ndlela on Radio Islam’s podcast.

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