20. Political Will and Student Midwives in The Year of the Midwife – Invited Speakers

Cindy Farley and Jennifer Jagger

Speaker(s): Cindy Farley and Jennifer Jagger

Facilitator: Tanya Belcheff

Recording: HERE

Midwives can make a difference in the health policy arena for women’s health by advocating for social justice and the common good. Political participation is addressed but not a focus in basic midwifery education as students and faculty are prioritizing the acquisition and application of foundational midwifery knowledge and skills to become safe beginning clinicians.  However, once new graduates step out into practice, they begin to realize the importance of legislation and regulation on the ability to practice to the full extent of their training and expertise. Student midwives need to have foundational skills in political advocacy in addition to beginning skills in midwifery care in order to make significant positive change.

The governing body of the World Health Organization let the political will of 194 nations be known in declaring 2020 the Year of the Midwife. It is a wonderful opportunity for those involved in care of childbearing women to organize small groups of practicing professionals and students to speak to legislators and regulators on ways to address the critical issues of our time. This presentation will discuss ways to use this momentum to press for laws and policies that are equitable to all people, provide respectful maternity care as a human right, and assure all women everywhere access to a midwife.