August 18, 2016 Originally published on International Confederation of Midwives

Young Midwives in the Lead

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The day before Women Deliver 4th Global Conference, International Confederation of Midwives in collaboration with Johnson & Johnson, UNFPA, WHO, JHPIEGO and other partners, organized a “Young Midwives in the Lead” symposium. Hundreds of applications for the event were received, but only 33 remarkable young midwives from around the world were selected to participated. One of the objectives was to showcase how investments in Young Midwifery Leaders can improve quality care within midwifery practice –  highlighting the importance of investment in research, advocacy, mentorship, and leadership skills.

On the last day the Young Midwifery Leaders recited their global call for action and declaration of commitment. “We will champion creative ways to network with our colleagues globally,” they said in unison. Their call to action was loud and clear – “We call for a unified voice and collaborative action on midwifery to ensure all women, newborns and their families have access to the best possible quality of respectful midwifery care.” To read the full call to action and declaration click here.

Follow the links below to hear their voices

  • "As young midwives we need to get involved in policy and decision making, we have lots of ideas to keep the midwifery profession up to date" - Olabisi Adigun, YML Nigeria
  • "We need more midwives in the leadership positions" - Massoma Jafari, YML Afghanistan
  • "We as midwives are the ones to advocate and stand up and say, we need to be involved in those positions of policy and decision making" - Clara Methie, Zimbabwe YML
  • "Midwives globally are a tribe that is actually very much unified in their efforts to care properly for women and their newborns"- Yoana Stancheva, Bulgaria YML
  • "Midwives need to seek further education, we need to go beyond our bachelor of midwifery, we need to get MA in Public Health so that we can move into policy sectors in our governments. We need to get PhD's so that we can move from being the head of our departments to being Dean of Universities." - Alixandra Bacon, YML
  • "We need a good leader, someone who can manage, guide and organise, put the qualified midwives in the right place. What we need as midwives is to influence policy." - Linvell Iddes Chirwa, YML Malawi
  • "As a young midwife, it's my responsibility to grab the opportunity and to be at the table where decisions are being made for the midwives." Marina Hashwani, YML Pakistan
  • "We need to bring midwives into policy making, we need to speak for ourselves, we need to get our ideas together and work as a team." - Samara Ferrara Belart, YML from Mexico
  • "Midwifery is a noble profession that makes me feel proud. We need to take a lead, we need to speak for ourselves, we need to speak for our profession. Midwives are the women's voice, we need to speak for women to change things if we want to improve maternal and child health." - Yvonne Delphine Nsaba Uwera, YML Rwanda

You can read more on the International Confederation of Midwives website.

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