International Confederation of Midwives – 32nd ICM Virtual Triennial Congress Update

The International Confederation of Midwives (ICM) just wrapped up their International Congress where important discussions were held, including gender equality, Continuity of Care for the women we serve, and the acknowledgment of indigenous midwives.

The International Confederation of Midwives (ICM) supports, represents and works to strengthen professional associations of midwives throughout the world. There are currently 143 Members Associations, representing 124 countries across every continent. ICM is an accredited non-governmental organization representing midwives and midwifery to organizations worldwide to achieve common goals in the care of mothers and newborns. ICM works closely with the WHO, UNFPA and other UN Agencies; global professional health care organizations including the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO), the International Pediatric Association (IPA), the International Council of Nurses (ICN), non-governmental organizations; bilateral and civil society groups.

The International Governing Council meets every 3 years in order to discuss and vote on proposals that will affect policies all over the world. It is so important for MANA to have a voice in these venues because only MANA has the unique role of representing ALL midwives.

We saw this play out in the important discussion about indigenous midwives. This proposal was presented by the Canadian Association. One of the core values of MANA is a midwife’s right to self determination. This came into play when defining the indigenous midwife. The discussion revolved around what is the definition or indigenous midwife? Who owns these terms? Who gets to decide these definitions? Who controls education, association, and professionalization? 

Though there was quite a lot of robust conversation and a handful of adversarial comments from other organizations, MANA whole heartedly stands with the Canadian Association of Midwives in their position statement ‘Indigenous and Non-Indigenous Midwives.’ 

In the end, it passed!! We applaud the efforts of indigenous midwives everywhere! We welcome their voice at the table. We celebrate victories such as the passing of this proposal in self determination. 

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