ICM Vice President Frances Day-Stirk describes recent action among midwives--and she urges them 'to believe'.

Author:Day-Stirk, Frances
Position::Momentum in May!
 
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In many parts of the world the month of May holds significance--be it Mother's Day or, in temperate countries, the first signs of spring--signalling new life. May also holds significance for midwifery associations in membership of ICM and for midwives. The 5th day of May, the International Day of the Midwife, is marked out for celebration and commemoration: celebration of all that is good about midwives and midwifery and commemoration of the millions of lives of women and their children lost though childbirth related deaths. And it is almost one year since ICM Council last met in Glasgow in last May. It has been a year that has seen the profile of midwifery heightened significantly, as outlined by the ICM President in the previous issue of this journal (IM 2008; 21:51). This achievement results from a combination of the ICM's continuing strategy as well as global recognition of the significance of midwives in achieving Millennium Development Goal (MDG) 5. It is a huge privilege to be serving as ICM Vice-President at a most exciting time in the history of the globalisation of midwifery--a time when the lack of progress towards MDG5 has galvanised global leadership.

The 2009 theme for the Intemational Day of the Midwife (IDM), The Worm needs midwives now more than ever, and the poster illustration encompass the message that the ICM wants all governments, and international policy--and decision-makers to heed the call and take action: all Member Associations and midwives, in their turn, are needed to campaign and lobby in their own countries on behalf of the world's women. This was emphasised in the press release message that midwives are central to achieving the matemal and newborn specific MDG goals 4 and 5 and also key players in reaching the equally important MDG 6, relating to the fight against disease.

The ICM website demonstrates the unprecedented scale of activities around IDM 2009, inlcuding Mother Night in the Netherlands, the WHO postcard and UNICEF message (ICM 2009). Midwives and mothers figured strongly in the UK at the launch of a report from the All Party Parliamentary Group on Population Development and Reproductive Health, which focused on maternal morbidity with its stark message made clear in the title 'Better off Dead?" (APPG 2009). The high-profile launch by Sarah Brown was planned to coincide with the IDM and also with the 'From Pledges to Progress' event hosted by the Royal College of Midwives and Women and Children First UK....

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