White Ribbon Alliance

Global Midwifery Advocacy Strategy

WHY IS THERE A NEED FOR A GLOBAL MIDWIFERY ADVOCACY STRATEGY?

Mothers and babies throughout the world need the help of competent, caring and respectful caregivers to survive childbirth, thrive in the months and years after it, and realize their full potential to transform our world. UNFPA’s State of the World Midwifery shows that midwives can provide up to 87% of pregnancy required services. Further, the Lancet Series on Midwifery supports a shift from fragmented maternal and newborn care provision that is focused on identification and treatment of pathology to a whole-system approach that provides skilled care for all. According to the Lancet, midwifery is associated with more efficient use of resources and improved outcomes when provided by midwives who are educated, trained, licensed, and regulated, and midwives are most effective when integrated into the health system in the context of effective teamwork and referral mechanisms and sufficient resources.

Given all this evidence, why isn’t midwifery care prioritized in all global, regional and national policies and strategies for maternal and newborn health? The answer to this question is complex and points to the power imbalance inside and outside of the healthcare system as well as deeply ingrained gender stereotypes which frame the personal and vulnerable experience of childbirth and the care associated with it. In the groundbreaking report “Midwives’ Voices, Midwives’ Realities,” midwives report feeling disrespected and disenfranchised in their personal and professional lives, which ultimately leads to moral distress and burnout. With the lives of so many women and babies at stake, it is evident that a multi-stakeholder global advocacy strategy for midwifery is necessary to ensure that midwifery care is prioritized everywhere.

WHAT IS THE GLOBAL MIDWIFERY ADVOCACY CAMPAIGN?

The Global Midwifery Advocacy Campaign is spearheaded by a multi-stakeholder group of more than 50 individuals from 25 organizations. It includes midwives, midwifery educators, researchers, and advocates from national, international and UN organizations. The campaign recognizes that midwives are the experts on the support and systems needed to ensure every woman and every baby receive quality, dignified, respectful health care. Midwives are also the best people to lead the changes and deliver the creative solutions they know are so badly needed.

HOW CAN WE ACHIEVE THE CHANGE WE WANT TO SEE?

The goal of the Campaign is to ensure that all childbearing women and newborns receive quality, dignified care provided by midwives who are valued, respected, and supported in a team environment. In order to achieve this goal, the campaign sets out to amplify the voices of midwives and highlight the contributions of midwives in leadership positions; engage other midwives, supporters and champions to join the cause; educate policy- makers on the critical contributions of midwifery; build the evidence and use our political capital to make the case for midwifery.

This is a global campaign that will provide the framework for replication at the regional and national level, guided by specific issues in each context. Further, the global campaign will unite different national campaigns and connect advocates across geographies.

For further information, please read:
White Ribbon Alliance’s Campaign for the Promotion of Midwifery

Interested in joining the campaign? Please contact:
Elena Ateva, Maternal And Newborn Health Policy & Advocacy Advisor
White Ribbon Alliance
Email