Thousands of midwives descended onto downtown Toronto, Canada, to raise awareness of the importance of midwifery.
4,000 midwives from 113 countries joined together to bring people’s attention to the role of midwives and global health care.
The movement was part of the annual International Confederation of Midwives (ICM) Triennial Congress, also being held in the city.
It aimed to address the inaccessibility of midwives and their services to women in countries around the world.
According to CBC News, Ontario has 800 registered midwives. However, 27% of midwife applications are turned down because of “systematic obstacles that stand in the way” said President of the Association of Ontario Midwives, Elizabeth Brandeis.
She also said that inaccessibility to midwifery services in Canada was down to the lack of hospital privileges.
“It comes down to money to some degree, but it also comes down to power and influence. Physicians still control decision-making in hospitals and that affects what happens at the systemic level.”
Midwives deliver 15% of babies in Ontario.
The ICM Triennial Congress is currently being held in Toronto, offering an opportunity for 130 Midwives Associations across 114 countries to come together to learn about the latest international developments in midwifery, as well as celebrate midwifery.
Across the four-day event, each day runs with a different theme. This year the themes are: making a difference through leadership, making a difference through partnerships, making a difference through professionalism and making a difference through supporting women’s and girls’ rights.
The ICM Triennial Congress is being held from Sunday 18 June – Thursday 22 June 2017.
Follow @world_midwives and use the hashtag #ICMLive for the latest coverage of the event.
Image: Caroline Homer via Twitter @CarolineHomer
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