In 2014, WHO started with the terminology, “disrespect and abuse,” which was the first time WHO made a statement about this issue. Then we said “Okay, but how do we define this issue?” This led to a systematic review of the literature, coming from the woman’s perspective: how do women view how they are treated during childbirth? This led us to develop a typology to talk about mistreatment and to try to identify and measure it.
But lack of mistreatment does not mean respectful care. So we used the same approach: to think about what respectful care means, capturing the voices of women in the literature in a systematic and comprehensive way from low, middle, and high income countries. As you’ll see in a lot of our documents, we now use the terminology, “respectful care.”