Obstetric violence is another form of violence that only women suffer, for the fact of being women, since they are the only ones able to become pregnant and give birth. This type of violence is clearly a violation of the human rights of this gender, and their rights to health, freedom, integrity, dignity, information, equality and privacy are violated. Violating the human rights of women is considered gender violence.
Unfortunately, this type of violence is institutionalized in health centers in Costa Rica and is also normalized, perpetrated by health personnel, with the silence of the authorities who, in principle, should ensure compliance with the human rights of patients. But on this particular issue, most of these cases remain unpunished.
The medical staff acts as the owner of the women’s bodies, treating them with contemptuous, demeaning, violent, and discriminatory treatment. In addition, on many occasions it is the obstetric nurses themselves who are participants in this macho culture and show little solidarity and respect towards their own gender. This reality reaffirms the position of the inferiority of women, as well as the dispossession and outrage of their human rights.
Obstetric violence is a reality that is lived in medical centers and which reflects the lack of knowledge regarding the duty to guarantee the rights to a life without violence, where dignity and health are a priority, as well as the fact that decide on their own body and reproduction. Therefore, it is of the utmost urgency to promote awareness of issues regarding health practices and their imminent violation of women’s rights.
Additionally, women -regardless of their socioeconomic status– must have all the information regarding the right to receive good treatment from health personnel. The role of the State is to guarantee rights through policies and programs, incorporating human rights, and therefore adequate care before, during, and after childbirth.