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Motion for a resolution | Doc. 14495 | 26 January 2018

Obstetrical and gynaecological violence

Signatories: Ms Maryvonne BLONDIN, France, SOC ; Mr Goran BEUS RICHEMBERGH, Croatia, ALDE ; Mr Piet De BRUYN, Belgium, NR ; Ms Margareta BUDNER, Poland, EC ; Ms Elena CENTEMERO, Italy, EPP/CD ; Ms Béatrice FRESKO-ROLFO, Monaco, EPP/CD ; Ms Sahiba GAFAROVA, Azerbaijan, EC ; Ms Albane GAILLOT, France, NR ; Ms Miren GORROTXATEGI, Spain, UEL ; Mr Jean-Pierre GRIN, Switzerland, ALDE ; Ms Gabriela HEINRICH, Germany, SOC ; Ms Colette KELLEHER, Ireland, SOC ; Mr František KOPŘIVA, Czech Republic, NR ; Ms Elvira KOVÁCS, Serbia, EPP/CD ; Mr Jérôme LAMBERT, France, SOC ; Ms Cristina-Mădălina PRUNĂ, Romania, NR ; Mr Adão SILVA, Portugal, EPP/CD ; Ms Maria Edera SPADONI, Italy, NR ; Mr Damien THIÉRY, Belgium, ALDE ; Mr Manuel TORNARE, Switzerland, SOC ; Ms Serap YAŞAR, Turkey, EC

This motion has not been discussed in the Assembly and commits only those who have signed it.

More and more women and associations are speaking out against violence experienced while giving birth or during gynaecological consultations. Such violence may take the form of sexism, rough treatment, humiliation, episiotomies and caesarean sections to which the women concerned did not give their consent, or even segregation in some maternity hospitals.

Although the true extent of obstetrical and gynaecological violence is difficult to gauge, such accounts should nevertheless be taken seriously. It is therefore necessary to examine the issue and to undertake an ethical and humanist discussion on the matter in general and on gynaecological and obstetrical acts in particular, together with health professionals, associations and patients.

The Parliamentary Assembly has repeatedly pointed out that women's sexual and reproductive health is an integral part of women's rights and makes an active contribution to their empowerment, and that any form of violence against women is a violation of human rights.

It is particularly important to consider the structural dimensions that lead to such violence, by looking at social and cultural norms and addressing the issues of inadequate funding, poor working conditions, power dynamics within the medical environment and the lack of training for health professionals.

The Assembly’s aim is not to point the finger at a specific profession but to take stock of the situation in order to recommend to Council of Europe member States the necessary measures to change practices and ensure medical care for women, while respecting their rights, their bodies and their health.