What’s Current: Report reveals widespread abuse of women during childbirth in Africa and Asia

  • A new report reveals that more than one-third of women in four low-income countries in Africa and Asia experienced abuse during childbirth and suggests that such abuse occurs worldwide. Women were slapped, punched, mocked, and forced to undergo caesarean sections and episiotomies without painkillers. Time reports:

“Most of the abuse occurred in the 15 minutes before and during childbirth. The study cited research that found that ‘midwives and doctors described women as “uncooperative” during this period and some justified using physical and verbal abuse as “punishment.”‘”

  • New York passed a law criminalizing pelvic exams on sedated women in hospitals without their consent. The measure states:

“If you happen to have had a gynecological surgery at a major teaching hospital in the U.S., there is a good chance that after you were rendered unconscious, numerous medical students used your body to learn how to perform a proper pelvic exam.”

  • Some 3,500 women will be allowed to enter a football stadium in Iran following international pressure and demands from FIFA. The policy change came after an Iranian woman set herself on fire rather than face a prison sentence for attempting to enter the stadium.
  • Twelve men are accused of raping two underage girls on or near Jacksonville State University. A lawyer representing one of the accused referred to one of the victims as “a 15-year-old female predator.”
Genevieve Gluck

Genevieve Gluck is a writer and advocate for women's sex-based rights and creator of Women's Voices, an audio library dedicated to bringing awareness to feminist texts and speeches.