Vice-Speaker of Tajik Parliament at Women Deliver
Being a mother of four children and representing over four million women in the Tajik Parliament I'm aware of many cases of disrespectful treatment at pregnancy and deliveries.
Sometimes I'm personally not able to understand:
- As majority of health providers in our countries are women: Why WOMEN are being ill-treated by WOMEN in a most challenging time of their lives?
- Why women ALLOW this ill-treatment?
- How to address the situation?
- And what I can personally do?
Of course, as the distinguished panelists mentioned, there is some progress in various parts of the world and I see certain progress and positive changes in my country. Thanks to the effective care protocols developed and introduced by the Ministry of Health with the support of WHO and UNFPA and other partners women in health facilities have now offered more choices, including: so-called "partner deliveries" individual maternity wards, free position in birth, and intake of food and drinks in deliveries. Baby-friendly maternity hospitals opened and health professionals trained on the basics of respectful treatment of mothers and infants.
As a Member of Parliament I initiated the revision of the Reproductive Health Law and by-laws that legislated these changes.
Prior to the revision, Parliament held hearings on the status of the reproductive health and maternity services in Tajikistan and invited independent experts to contribute.
As I sincerely believe ill-treatment of a woman in labor is also a form of violence I chaired the working group on development of the Law on Prevention of Domestic Violence. The Law not only emphasized the acuteness of the problem but increased the role of the women in the family, community, and society.
Under my leadership the National Committee on Population and Development has been established. The Committee brought together Parliament, key government ministries, civil society, and mass-media to address acute issues pertaining to the population and development.
One of the first meetings of the Committee was dedicated to the issue of safe motherhood and provision of quality friendly maternity services to women. We work in the communities and with health providers to promote ideas and principles of respecting rights, dignity, and human personality.
I would like to thank our partners, UNFPA, AFPPD, WHO, and many others for strong partnership. I would like to thank all organizers, contributors, and participants for convening today's session and generating open and frank discussion and exchange.
BUT THE JOURNEY OF THOUSAND MILES HAS JUST BEGUN.
Tomorrow we women-activists, members of parliaments, leaders and champions, we all to return to our home countries. I call on our continuous hard work and your inspiration, dedication, energy and power to end human rights violations and ensure respectful maternity care in our countries, in the region, and in the world.
Rephrasing the UN Secretary General Mr. Ban Ki-moon I would like to state:
"Ill-treatment of a woman in a most important moment of her life and in a moment of the beginning of a new life
is never acceptable,
and never tolerable!"
This address at the Eastern Europe and Western Asia Caucus at the Women Deliver Conference 2016, was made by the Honourable Khayrinioso Yusufi, Vice Speaker of Majlisi Namoyandagon Majlisi Oli (Parliament) of the Republic of Tajikistan. One of Honourable Yusufi's major accomplishments as a legislator was the adoption of the Law on Domestic Violence, the first of its kind in Tajikistan. The Law was adopted in 2013 after 10 years of advocacy work she spearheaded. She has also initiated the Law on protection of the Rights of the Child, adopted in 2015. In 2014, the National Committee on Population and Development was established and Khayriniso was chosen to lead it. In November 2015, the Inter-Parliamentary Assembly of the CIS awarded Khayriniso for her contribution to development of inter-country relationships.
Photo: Fotograf Michael Thomas, Frederiksberg Photo: Fotograf Michael Thomas, Frederiksberg