Obstetric Violence in Armed Conflict Areas

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The operation of childbirth/ delivery is the most common process in which a woman bears physical pain. The intensity of pain is considered as the second largest that a person is exposed to after fire. Obstetric violence is one of the forms of violations of women’s rights, as pregnant women suffer during the childbirth process sometimes from harmful behaviors that are a clear violation of their health rights, which may exacerbate and expose them to death, that is, the right to life.

This violence has many forms that differ according to the situations and people involved in dealing with the situation. Obstetric violence causes not only physical harm, but also psychological and emotional damage, and ranges from a nurse telling a woman not to scream to performing procedures that speed up labor for medical reasons only.

Violence during childbirth spreads and doctors describe it as widespread worldwide, and its features have emerged in the last decade and in areas of armed conflict it has more extreme manifestations. In the same context, the World Health Organization has been keen to make an effort to stop the images of those abuses that occur to women during childbirth because of the inevitability of intervention.

This report discusses defining the term obstetric violence that women are exposed to and its forms prevalent in most countries of the world, identifying the most severe forms of this violence in areas of armed conflict, in addition to reviewing the position of international organizations concerned with stopping these violations.

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