100 Years of the International Confederation of Midwives: Empowering Midwives and Empowering Women
Joyce Thompson, Joan Walker, Ann Thomson and Margaret Peters may come from different corners of the world but their careers as midwives and their interest in the history of midwifery has inspired their collective effort to document ICM’s global impact over the past 100 years. The four women are the authors of ‘100 Years of the International Confederation of Midwives: Empowering Midwives and Empowering Women’.
The new book, which will be published later this year in celebration of ICM’s centennial, is a brief narrative history of the ICM beginning in 1922. Through personalised stories and extensive research, It highlights ICM’s efforts to strengthen and support its Member Associations in order to protect and promote healthy babies and empower midwives and women. This is the first and only account of ICM’s 100-year history.
We spoke with the authors about their motivations for writing the book, their own midwifery careers and why ICM’s history is important to unpack as we aim to understand where midwifery is headed.
Here is a snippet of what the authors said when asked about their hopes for the next 100 years of ICM, and the profession of midwifery:
- Joan: I just hope that this continues: [ICM] needs strong leadership from headquarters, it needs committed midwives. I know that the headquarters has grown tremendously from what it was 20 years ago. [ICM] has increased the number of partners that its working with, which I think is also essential for maintaining that global cohesion, and helping governments to realize the significance that midwives can play in improving the health of mothers, babies, and families, and hopefully improving the standards for midwifery training and midwifery practice, and the conditions under which midwives do practice.”
- Ann: “And also they help improve the economy in a country, if you’ve got healthy mothers and babies, and this is what the ICM is striving for: the need to carry on doing that.”
- Margaret: “Once you provide that excellent standard of care for women and babies, the whole health system is working and therefore the whole nation is better. It’s always, quite frankly, mothers and babies that tend to come secondary, sometimes, to the provision of care for others.”
- Joyce: “For many years, I’ve said that, without healthy women, you won’t have healthy newborns, without healthy newborns you won’t have healthy adults, and without healthy adults you won’t have a healthy nation, and that midwives are essential to the health of women, throughout the world. I think that it’s very important to realize that the future has to be in the hands of women and midwives working together within systems that are supportive in order for the world to be more peaceful.”
We look forward to updating you when the book is published. In the meantime, tune in to our IDM Virtual Parties at 1pm CEST and 8pm CEST to hear the authors of ‘100 Years of the International Confederation of Midwives’ share their favourite midwife memories.