Author Archives: georgestenner

International Day of the Midwife

Joy Kemp is pictured smiling.
Today’s guest blog is from Joy Kemp, Global Professional Advisor at The Royal College of Midwives.

On International Day of the Midwife, around the world, midwives raise their voices to advocate for safe and respectful maternity services and to receive the recognition and pay and working conditions they need to provide high-quality maternity care.

The theme this year, set by the International Confederation of Midwives, is ‘Midwives together again, in solidarity’. This celebrates that midwives from around the world are able to be together again at a global congress to be held in Bali in June 2023,  the first time that this triennial Congress has been held face-to-face since the COVID-19 pandemic. The theme also expresses solidarity by, for and with midwives who are experts in maternal, newborn, sexual, reproductive and adolescent health and can save millions of lives each year.

There is a global shortage of almost 1 million midwives; International Day of the Midwife provides an opportunity to advocate to policy makers to invest in midwives – not just to train more midwives but to ensure there are sufficient numbers of midwives in the workforce, that they are supported and enabled to provide high quality care, and that there are midwives in leadership at policy level.

Equity and solidarity are core tenets of the Royal College of Midwives as a trade union and professional association, being a voice for midwives, not just in the UK, but across the world.  The Royal College of Midwives has recently completed a five-year twinning partnership with the Bangladesh midwifery society, supporting the development of 51 young midwife leaders and supporting the organisational development of the nascent professional midwives’ association in a country where midwifery as a profession was only recently introduced. The RCM has also been working with others to ‘decolonise’ the midwifery curriculum, ensuring that the U.K.’s maternity services are equitable, both for those who use the services and those who work within them.

Bristol is home to MIDIRS, part of The Royal College of Midwives, which provides midwives and maternity service workers with the evidence they need to provide the highest quality care and ensure equity for all women and birthing people, regardless of their background or situation. On Friday, Bristol town hall will be lit up in the distinctive colours of the Royal College of Midwives to show the city’s solidarity with the midwives who keep our mothers and babies safe here and across the world.  Equity and solidarity are values also held dear by Bristol residents. Join with us in wishing all the world’s midwives the very happiest International Day of the Midwife 2023.