This year, we are witnessing midwives step rightfully into the global spotlight. From the International Day of the Midwife and release of the 2021 State of the World’s Midwifery Report in May, to the International Confederation of Midwives Triennial Congress in June, collective recognition is being given to the vital role midwives play in meeting the needs of women and girls.
In a year deeply impacted by overwhelmed healthcare systems, we must amplify and better support our courageous global midwifery workforce. In the United Kingdom, midwives describe maternity units as ‘bursting at the seams’ and report an urgent need for increased pay and autonomy to provide personalised care for women and birthing people. Through every stage of life, midwives are there for, and with, women and birthing people–as health providers, human rights defenders, guides, and champions of respectful care. Despite the 'universal' roles that midwives play, midwives worldwide have different and diverse needs to care for people effectively. Supporting their needs is more important than ever before.
It is time to centre the voices and demands of midwives. The What Women Want: Midwives' Voices, Midwives' Demands initiative, part of the recently launched global PUSH campaign, seeks to meet midwives’ needs by asking what they want most in their role. The time to speak and act together is now–if you’re a midwife, please take the survey today!
White Ribbon Alliance (WRA) United Kingdom
It’s impossible to separate women’s health from women’s equality. To truly respond to women’s and girls’ demands for quality reproductive and maternal healthcare, we must also fight for access to education, employment, food, housing, security, and oppression and discrimination in all its forms. The latest What Women Want report, Another Listen, explores the intersection of health and equality in more detail.
Have another listen…
PUSH For Midwives
The PUSH campaign is a decade-long global movement for women and the midwives who protect and uphold their rights and bodily autonomy, launched at the recent International Confederation of Midwives Triennial Congress. WRA is a key partner of the campaign which will accelerate progress on reducing maternal and neonatal mortality, advance sexual and reproductive health and rights, address key barriers to women’s leadership, and shift underlying gender norms that undervalue women’s rights, lives, and work.
Learn more about the PUSH...
Celebrating Fearless Advocate Rose Mlay
Rose Mlay is retiring from leading White Ribbon Alliance Tanzania. Rose is well-known throughout Tanzania and the WRA movement for her passion, energy, perseverance, and determination. Since 2005, Rose led WRA Tanzania’s efforts to address critical health workforce needs. She ensured that high-level commitments made by political leaders were realized through extensive accountability efforts to bring financial resources and quality improvements to the health facility level. She used creative tactics–from participatory films, music videos, and a campaign to climb Mount Kilimanjaro–to continuously bring attention to the needs and demands to improve reproductive, maternal, and newborn health in Tanzania.
While we celebrate Rose’s legacy with WRA, we know she will remain a lifelong champion of women’s health and above all–women's voice.
Self-Care Learning and Discovery Series: Missed the first few sessions? We’ve got you covered! Session recordings are now available to watch on demand on the series platform.
Generation Equality Forum: We Know What Women Want: For the GEF to set an effective agenda improving the lives of millions, it must respond to women’s demands for the basics.
The Global Count: The interim findings are in! Explore the report to find out the priorities of women and gender-diverse people to achieve gender equality.
Diversity Differs: In The Practising Midwife, WRA members from across the global alliance teamed up to offer a global perspective on diversity, equity, and inclusion priorities and action in reproductive and maternal health practice.
Inclusion Matters: Disability Pride Month
July is increasingly being recognized as Disability Pride Month. We’re proud to celebrate by elevating the demands of women and girls living with disabilities and creating change. For example, WRA Kenya harnessed What Women Want requests to help secure improved disability accommodations in health facilities in Bungoma and Makueni counties, including installation of disability-friendly toilets, ramps, and delivery beds, as well as health staff who can communicate in sign language.
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