Obstetrical and gynaecological violence is a form of violence
that has long been hidden. In the privacy of a medical consultation
or childbirth, women are victims of practices that are violent or
that can be perceived as such. These include inappropriate or non-consensual
acts, such as episiotomies, or painful interventions without anaesthetic.
Sexist behaviour has also been reported.
In recent years, thousands of women worldwide have spoken
out, on social networks and in the media, against sexist acts and
violence experienced during gynaecological consultations or while
giving birth. This violence reflects a patriarchal culture that
is still dominant in society, including in the medical field.
Necessary preventive measures should be taken for the human
rights and dignity of all to be upheld and human dignity respected,
including in the health care context. The adoption of legislation
on the informed consent of patients, when not yet the case, awareness-raising
campaigns, setting up reporting and complaint mechanisms and adequate
financial resources for health care facilities can contribute to
providing respectful care to all patients.