Eastern Europe and Central Asia Caucus Consensus Statement – endorsed by Action

The Action has endorsed the consensus statement.

Introduction (taken from the RODA website):

The Eastern Europe and Central Asia Caucus was convened as part of Women Deliver 2016. The caucus was financially supported by PATH and organized by Roda, a Croatian NGO. The goal of the caucus was to bring together diverse stakeholders to discuss regional priorities and strategies for strengthening girls’ and women’s health and wellbeing; and to serve as a catalyst for momentum in participants’ home countries. This caucus in particular, focused on quality in reproductive healthcare as a way of upholding women’s dignity and autonomy.

In preparation for the caucus, organizers consulted 30 individuals and organizations from the region to identify the most pressing reproductive rights concerns in their countries. These concerns were broken into three broad categories: health education for youth, increasing safety in pregnancy, childbirth and postpartum, and disrespect and abuse in pregnancy, childbirth and postpartum. During the caucus, break-out sessions were held for each of the three categories to further identify priorities and possible solutions. Based on these discussions, the following list was compiled. It highlights the priorities for the region for reproductive health issues impacting women especially in pregnancy, childbirth and postpartum.

The document was discussed at the caucus, with over 90 representatives from 20 countries in attendance, and the consultation process continued afterwards with ten experts in the field who provided feedback and helped shape the final outcome document.

Consensus Values and Human Rights Framework

We, the signatories of this consensus document are a diverse group of advocates, activists, service providers, policy-makers, and other stakeholders. This document reflects the work we did at the caucus and our ongoing commitment to improve the quality of reproductive health care for all women.

At this caucus, we proposed that the definition of adequate reproductive health and safe motherhood be transformed to include thriving before and after pregnancy and childbirth, recognizing that pregnancy and childbirth especially are crucial for the health of women, children, families and societies at that moment and for the future. This work was done within a Respectful Maternity Care(1) and human rights framework. Although some of the issues listed may not be direct human rights violations, they all contribute to a healthcare environment in which the rights and dignity of women are systematically violated.

Read the full statement here.

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