The findings of a report commissioned by WHO and partners, co-authored by WISE Director Georgia Taylor, prompts calls for improvement of working conditions for midwives at WHO event in Geneva

WHO and partners are calling for an end to the discrimination, harassment and lack of respect that hinder midwives’ ability to provide quality care to women and newborns.

The first global survey of midwifery personnel led by WHO, the International Confederation of Midwives (ICM) and White Ribbon Alliance (WRA), “Midwives’ Voices, Midwives Realities: Findings from a global consultation on providing quality midwifery care”, reports findings from 2400 midwives who chose to complete an online survey in 93 countries and was funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

It reveals that too often midwives report their efforts are constrained by unequal power relations within the health system. Many midwives also face cultural isolation, unsafe accommodation and low salaries.

Based on the findings of the survey, WHO, ICM, WRA, USAID, UNFPA and other partners are developing a “Global Midwifery Advocacy Strategy” aimed at addressing the barriers midwifery personnel face in order to improve quality of care. The strategy will urge global decision makers to value the evidence on the positive impact of quality midwifery care. It will encourage policy makers to draw on the expertise of midwives when making policy and strategy decisions that affect maternal and newborn care.

Read the full details and download the report

A video of the event can be found here

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