Position Statement

Partnership between Women and Midwives

Gender Equality and JEDI
Last Edited 2 June 2023 02:51 CEST


Midwifery is a profession that is based upon a partnership between women and midwives aiming to promote health outcomes. The ICM International Code of Ethics for Midwivesi urges Midwives to develop a partnership with individual women in which they is actively share information and support women in their right to actively participate in decisions about their and their newborns’ care. Midwives help to create an environment where women are free to speak for themselves on issues affecting their health and that of their families in their culture/society.  


ICM will take every opportunity to work with groups representing the interests of women at international, regional and national levels to achieve worldwide equitable reproductive health outcomes. All initiatives undertaken to aid the further development of the midwifery profession will be premised on:  

  • The health care needs of women and their newborns 
  • The involvement of women in the process of identification of those needs 
  • Encouraging midwives to proactively have women, as the consumers of midwifery care, participate in the activities directed at the provision of quality care 
  • Secure women-friendly services through midwives who value women’s self-governance and clinical guidelines 
  • Promote the adoption of practice guidelines supporting women’s informed choice and the importance obtaining consent for all aspects of care Recommendations Member Associations are urged to 
  • Use this statement for action in their own environment. 
  • Involve women in their activities 

Related ICM Documents  


Other Relevant Documents  

  • De LaBrusse C. et. Al. 2016. Patient-centered Care in Maternity Services: A Critical Appraisal and Synthesis of the Literature. Women’s Health Issues, Volume 26, Issue 1, 100 – 109  
  • Every Woman Every Child. 2015. The Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s and Adolescents’ Health (2016-2030). Moore, J. et.al. Transforming Patient-Centered Care: Development of the Evidence Informed Decision making through Engagement Model. Women’s health Issues. Volume 25, Issue 3, 276-282  
  • Henshall et al. 2016. A systematic review to examine the evidence regarding discussions by midwives, with women, around their options for where to give birth BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth16:53 DOI 10.1186/s12884-016-0832-0  


Adopted at Brisbane International Council meeting, 2005  

Revised at Toronto International Council meeting, 2017  

Due for next review 2023