The two-day HRiC: Africa Indaba will gather African human rights…
The two-day HRiC: Africa Indaba will gather African human rights advocates, health care professionals, civil society organizations, and community representatives to discuss human rights concerns faced by women during pregnancy, birth and postpartum in regional maternity care systems around Africa.
The summit process will commit to the tradition of Indaba in which African “people get together to sort out the problems that affect them all, where everyone has a voice and where there is an attempt to find a common mind or a common story that everyone is able to tell when they go away from it.” (Rowan Williams)
The first day of the conference will focus on issues of common concern to numerous African nations, such as access to care, economic and environmental factors, discrimination and stigma, disrespect and abuse, and the role of midwifery and traditional healthy birth practices. The second day of the conference will examine and discuss three case studies of specific maternity care systems around Africa, for consideration and comparison of their successes and challenges.
It is envisioned that the outcome of the conference will be to:
Facilitate meaningful informational exchange on human rights best practices within maternal and infant health care in various regions of Africa;
Devise implementable measures for recognition of human rights in childbirth, with effective systems for accountability and redress;
Produce a Consensus Statement regarding human rights in African maternity care, with recommendations for action strategies.
The law firm that will house the summit, Webber Wentzel, has a pro bono gender equity division with great interest in furthering these topics. Our confirmed partners include the global advocacy organizations White Ribbon Alliance and Amnesty International, both of which will help bring human rights advocates from around Africa to speak at the event.
Through publications and multi-media coverage, the issues and findings revealed by the HRiC Africa Indaba 2015 will be amplified locally and globally. A Conference Report will consist of articles by Summit Presenters, detailing birth stories from their local communities that illuminate the human rights concerns that women are facing around Africa. Livestream online coverage of the event will open the doors to virtual attendees around the globe.
The Africa Summit provides an unprecedented opportunity for the assembled delegation to exchange information about models of respectful maternity care being explored across Africa. This exchange can provide a wide lens to catalyze a much-needed reorientation of policy and practice for the development of African maternity care.
The Millennium Developmental Goals (MDG5) reflected an initial paradigm shift in the recognition of preventable maternal mortality as a human rights issue. This assembly will advance further understanding of human rights in maternity care beyond the right to survival.