INTERNATIONAL DAY OF THE MIDWIFE, 5 MAY 2019 – Defenders of Women’s Rights

Theme 2019: Defenders of Women’s Rights

Question: What countries explicitly permit abortion provision by a midwife?

Answer: Four countries in Africa (Benin, Ethiopia, Ghana , South Africa); 2 countries in Asia (Cambodia and Vietnam); and 2 countries in Europe (France and North Macedonia) explicitly permit abortion provision by a midwife.

That’s only 8 out of 193 countries who are members of the United Nations and Palestine (an observer).

Event at WHO, 6 May 2019:

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The WHO Chief Nursing Officer and the WHO Taskforce on Nursing and Midwifery hosted the celebration of 2019 International Day of the Midwife and the International Nurses Day with the launch of an original play,Born in the Ruins,which highlights the work of midwives and nurses in a conflict and emergency setting anywhere in the world.

The event was opened by the WHO Director-General, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, followed by video messages from the International Confederation of Midwives and the International Council of Nurses. A panel of speakers also contributed. The event is live streamed here and a recording will be available after the event.

A global report and action plan for strengthening midwifery education

The 2019 focus of the Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s and Adolescents’ Health 2016-30 is midwifery. WHO, UNICEF, UNFPA, ICM and PMNCH, in consultation with organizations across the world, are developing a report and action plan for strengthening quality midwifery education to be presented to the 194 Member States of WHO at this year’s World Health Assembly in May.

SOURCES: Abortion provision figures: Antonella Lavelanet, World Health Organization, Department of Reproductive Health and Research, E-mail, 8 May 2019 ; WHO events, 6 May 2019