Midwives: Defenders of Women’s Rights

Midwives are defenders of women’s rights and through their supportive, respectful maternity care, they are the key to reducing maternal and neonatal morbidity and mortality worldwide.

May 5 is International Day of the Midwife (IDM). It is a day to celebrate an extraordinary profession who have a life-long impact on women, families and communities worldwide.

The International Confederation of Midwifes (ICM) says, “On IDM we celebrate the midwives who stand up for the rights of women to receive respectful maternity care, who offer contraception even though their societies refuse, who have supported pregnant women who are suffering from abuse and cannot return home, who say no to performing FGM, who have held perpetrators of rape and violence accountable, despite fear of the ramifications and who hold the torch for gender equality and defend women and girls”.

Closer to home, the Australian College of Midwives (ACM) celebrates the midwives who work in all settings –  in Australia’s maternity services and private practice – around the clock, providing evidence-based care to women.

We are proud to be alongside amazing midwives working to get continuity of midwifery care included in our national maternity services strategy and for pregnancy warning labels to be included on alcohol packaging; lobbying state and federal politicians to ensure midwifery is a priority for them at election time; creating planned birth at home and clinical supervision position statements; developing apps so that the most up-to-date guidelines are always at arms-reach; writing books so that the workforce is educated in the best evidence-based care; working with the TransTasman Midwifery Education Consortium to progress midwifery education and working with LINMEN and the Rhodanthe Lipsett Indigenous Midwifery Charitable Fund to grow the Indigenous midwife workforce and support the growth of Indigenous midwifery leadership.

We also celebrate the midwives who have volunteered their skills and time and travelled to developing countries to share their experience with local midwives, so that women everywhere receive the best possible care and the best possible outcomes.

Midwives are superheroes. They save lives. Join with us, on International Day of the Midwife, in acknowledging the incredible contribution midwives make to the significant life experience of motherhood.

You can show your support by walking with midwives. There are a number of walks to join around the country and all proceeds from walk registration support the Rhodanthe Lipsett Indigenous Midwifery Charitable Fund. Click here for walks and to register or click here to support RLIMCF directly.

For comment, please contact Midwifery Advisor Hilary Rorison on 08 7129 4431.

Additional information: The Australian College of Midwives
The Australian College of Midwives (ACM) is the peak professional body for midwives in Australia who are registered with, and regulated by, the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA). ACM’s position is that women be attended during pregnancy, birth and postnatally by a midwife who is registered with the NMBA