Back 1 April 2015

ICM President at Midwives4All Workshop


ICM President Frances Day-Stirk took part in a workshop in London during March on the theme of #Midwives4All, and spoke at an evening reception for participants at the Swedish Embassy.

“ICM is delighted to be part of this initiative by the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs,” she said. ”With 116 Member Associations in over 100 countries, ICM supports the development of midwives around the world, while Sweden also has a long history of midwifery and of supporting Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights.”

Frances reflected on the 300 year history of midwifery in Sweden, together with that of the UK’s Royal College of Midwives which is almost 150 years old:

“Both had similar beginnings in a desire to improve the poor childbirth outcomes of women and babies.  All those years ago, the Queen of Sweden began by ensuring the training, equipping and deployment of midwives in every Swedish village. In England meanwhile, it was women and midwives who - moved by the dire circumstances of birth in the east end of London - lobbied during the 1800s for improvements in the education and regulation of midwives.” 

The midwifery profession has come far since then. Frances was pleased to hear UNFPA Executive Director Babatunde Osotimehin, speaking recently about midwives as ‘polymaths’ (commonly defined as those whose expertise spans a significant number of different areas, and who draw up on complex bodies of knowledge to solve specific problems). This appreciation of midwives came to Babatunde, as it has to millions of other viewers, from watching the popular TV series ‘Call the Midwife’.

Frances also expressed her appreciation to the Swedish agency SIDA which has supported ICM financially and technically for more than five years so far.

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