Joint Calls to Action: Protecting Midwives to Sustain Care for Women and Birthing People, Newborns + their Families in Covid 19 Pandemic.
"International Confederation of Midwives (ICM) has connected with the majority of its 143 midwives’ associations in all regions of the world and accounts from the midwives working on the front lines during this pandemic are harrowing, unveiling an increase in gender discrimination, domestic violence, human rights abuses, the over-medicalization of birth and fear and misinformation, all culminating in growing distress among women and midwives. These findings are echoed by World Health Organization staff in country offices globally.
As a result of our communication with midwives, ICM released a Joint Statement with United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) calling for governments, decision makers, donors and health institutions to ensure the protection of midwives, women and newborns during the COVID-19 pandemic."
Sally Pairman is a New Zealander and arrived in the Netherlands in January 2017 to take up the role of CEO at International Confederation of Midwives (ICM). Before then, she had a long career spanning all aspects of midwifery – practice, education, regulation, professionalism and politics. Sally is passionate about midwives and midwifery and believes that strong midwives’ associations can lead changes in their countries to ensure strong midwifery professions and midwife-led continuity of care services for women and their families.
Bounmy Inthavong, is a current recipient of the International Confederation of Midwives (ICM) Young Midwife Leader (YML) program and the acting Vice-President of theAssociation of Ontario Midwives (Ontario, Canada). Bounmy’s YML project complements the midwifery work that she has been passionate about in her country of heritage, Lao PDR. Bounmy founded the Lao Midwife Fund in 2017, and with the support of the YML program, is providing midwifery technical support to the Lao Association of Midwives (LAM) in collaboration with UNFPA-Laos. Bounmy hopes to integrate tools developed by ICM to enable LAM to have the capacity to be advocates for their midwifery profession and the communities they serve.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Bounmy has been working in the front lines as a midwife by continuing her work to provide an individualized approach to care that ensures a safe and supportive environment that empowers clients and their families to make informed decisions. In addition, Bounmy has been outwardly spoken about how COVID and its response plans are significantly impacting marginalized and radicalized communities.
Link to the Call for Action
How to network with Sally and Bounmy:
@ Sally's Email
You can find Bounmy onLinkedIn (Bounmy Inthavong)
People, places and things mentioned on the podcast:
Helen Clark, 37th Prime Minister of New Zealand
UNFPA, United Nations Population Fund
Women's Business, The Story of the New Zealand College of Midwives
Karen Guilliland, the Activist
Laotion Refugee Camps (CNN article)
Enabling Environment for Midwives
Compassion Fatigue in Midwives (PPT)
State of the World's Midwives, UNFPA
Black Women Arise
Mama Baby Fund
Midwifery Services Framework