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‘Another Listen’ : Demands for respectful care across global maternity services
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‘Another Listen’ : Demands for respectful care across global maternity services

Kay King, Executive Director for the White Ribbon Alliance in the UK, highlights the work of the global “What Women Want Campaign” and points to the in depth “Another Listen” report. This gives insightful responses of women’s expectations for humanised and respectful care across the world.
In the most recent report on White Ribbon Alliances’, What Women Want campaign, co-chairs of the, Aparajita Gogoi and Kristy Kade, dig a little deeper into the findings from 1,197,006 women and girls to ensure that the reposes under the category of ‘other’ were given voice. In 2019 the findings of this huge mobilisation effort were shared, and the campaign celebrated. By asking the open question ‘My one request for quality reproductive and maternal healthcare services is…’ there was a clear focus on respectful and dignified care, with over 100,00 responses naming this as a top priority. The most recent report, Another Listen, shines a light on the lesser heard responses, ensuring that we turn our attention to the detail of what women and girls across the globe are demanding.

The ambitious vision of What Women Want had the mantra ‘Every voice counted, every voice heard’ at its heart, and through huge effort women and girls from across 114 countries were able to share their demands. This gave White Ribbon Alliance the evidence needed to witness substantial gains resulting from What Women Want. These include the adoption of standards on respectful and dignified care, to the hiring of midwives, to the installation of working toilets in health facilities and the funding of contraceptives in countries as disparate as Mexico to Pakistan, and others in between.

In early 2021 White Ribbon Alliance decided to build a public dashboard, allowing anybody to access the full data of responses from across the 1,197,006 demands. Utilising carefully crafted categories and coding to organise the data into an interactive dashboard was a huge undertaking, and it is an honour to see this now live and being used by stakeholders and partners across the globe.

The report highlights that ‘While categories have morphed, women’s answers have not. In fact, the updated algorithm has served to reinforce women’s top demands, with some slight shifts and reordering. One adjustment the algorithm made was to integrate requests for specific facility improvements—such as electricity, beds, and laboratories—within the general code increased, full-functioning, and close health facilities. Also included in this category now are many of women’s WASH-related demands. With the growing focus on WASH in healthcare facilities, this change is expedient. The enhanced algorithm moved facilities from fifth to first, with WASH accounting for nearly 50 percent of women’s demands in the updated category.’

Another Listen is insightful reading- providing clarity and insight into the lesser heard demands and allowing for the campaign to give meaningful voice to the specific demands that impact our reproductive and maternal healthcare globally.

The full report can be accessed here:

Kay King
Executive Director
White Ribbon Alliance

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