Protecting the rights of women who give birth during a time of crisis
Outcome:
human rights
City (headquarters):
Warszawa
Voivodeship (headquarters):
mazowieckie
Dates:
31-01-2022 - 31-01-2022
Status:
completed
Project cost:
75 000 EUR
Funding:
75 000 EUR
Outreach:
nationwide
Types of activities:
intervention actions, watchdog activities, use the effects of monitoring to conduct advocacy or intervention activities
Target groups:
women, health professionals

The COVID-19 pandemic has had an impact on our rights and freedoms. Women who are pregnant or have given birth, and medical personnel, are in a special situation. Prenatal and postnatal care has been restricted significantly, and it is not clear who makes decisions restricting women’s rights and in what way. There is no access to consultants’ current recommendations. Right now, Minister of Health regulations are being amended according to scientific associations’ recommendations, and medical services entitlements are being restricted. This has led to chaos and demonstrates that there is no control over decision-making, or safeguards enabling patients to contest decisions made by authorities.

Under the project, monitoring and advocacy will be conducted with respect to implementation of mechanisms and tools to mitigate the risk of violation of women’s rights during crisis. The monitoring will include a questionnaire among 8 000 women who gave birth during the pandemic and a study amongst medical personnel, covering the needs, challenges, and effects of the pandemic in gynecological and midwife-led units. Strengthening the network of female watchdog Childbirth with Dignity Foundation, providing legal advice, and intervention in particular cases, will be an important element.

The collected experiences of 8 000 women and medical and hospital personnel will enable a report to be drawn up on respect for rights of women who gave birth during the crisis in 2020. Based on the findings and recommendations for the Minister of Health, consultants, and hospitals, advocacy activities will be conducted with respect to introduction of mechanisms to prevent violation of human rights during pandemics or crises in future.

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