Human rights have a gender, too!

Call for proposals: Medium and large projects
Project duration: 1 Oct 2020–31 Mar 2022
Project budget: 59,940 EUR

In Slovenia, around 20,000 women look forward to having a child every year. Unfortunately, women in maternity hospitals can experience violations of human and patient rights, inappropriate childbirth practices and violence. The problem is widespread throughout the world, including in Slovenia, as confirmed by studies. There are a multitude of unacceptable practices. For example, a health professional might perform a rough and painful vaginal exam, but the patient is ignored despite her explicit "no". Or they might suture the wound after cutting the perineum before the painkillers take effect. It is difficult for women to talk about this kind of unacceptable behavior they have been subjected to. The consequences are trauma, difficult care for the baby, depression, anxiety, panic attacks ... Some women decide not to give birth again due to the traumatic childbirth experience, despite the desire to have another child.

For many years, Združenje Naravni začetki (The Natural Beginnings Association) has been an advocate for women's rights during childbirth in Slovenia. It is in society’s interest to establish zero tolerance for violence and inappropriate practices in childbirth. That is why we speak up for women's rights during childbirth. Our project aims to clearly communicate what respecting women's rights during childbirth really means and what it looks like in practice.

Our new web portal will provide pregnant women, expectant fathers and health professionals with up-to-date information on women's rights during childbirth: what they are, what quality childbirth care is, why it is right for women to have a say in choosing maternity care and how these choices are exercised. We will connect health professionals and users. In cooperation with both parties, we will come up with solutions that will be tested in practice by health professionals. We will organize a main event where the findings will be presented to health professionals, women, decision-makers and the public.

Documented issues and solutions will be accessible, transparent, interesting and useful and will allow for concrete changes in maternity care in Slovenia. Maternity care should be safe and at the same time favorable to women, children and families: compassionate, supportive and well-grounded. This allows women to recover faster after giving birth, and to dedicate themselves to motherhood and other aspects of their lives more easily. Moms should remember their birth experience with a smile on their face.

In short: women giving birth still have rights and we are here to help them exercise these rights.

Contact person: Irena Šimnovec
Project promoter: Natural Beginnings – Society for education, free choice and support in pregnancy, childbirth and parenthood
Project partners: RF, oglaševanje d.o.o.