Midwives: Defenders of Women’s Rights

Each year since 1992, the International Confederation of Midwives leads global recognition and celebration of the work of midwives, on the 5th of May.

This year's International Day of the Midwife theme is : Midwives: Defenders of Women's Rights

The first global survey of midwifery personnel, conducted in 2016 by the World Health Organisation, International Confederation of Midwives, and the White Ribbon Alliance, found that the efforts of midwives are affected by unequal power relations within the health system, cultural isolation, unsafe accommodation and low pay.

The survey findings call for urgent attention to midwives through the provision of professional support, better education and regulation, as well as greater advocacy for midwifery, in order to ensure that midwives are able to provide the best maternal and newborn care.

Every year, more than 300 000 women die while giving birth and 2.7 million newborns die during the first 28 days of life, many from preventable causes. Midwifery – the skilled, knowledgeable and compassionate care provided throughout pregnancy and childbirth – plays a vital role in preventing these deaths, but only when it is of quality and provided by midwives educated and regulated to international standards.

Join in celebrating Midwives and the role they play in defending the rights of women worldwide! Let us know what you're doing to celebrate midwives today.