Preserving Traditional Midwifery Around the World

Debra opened the session by presenting her work on a film project, the aim of which was to look at birth models around the world, not just traditional midwifery. She then described how, at the International Confederation of Midwives conference in 2002, many of the traditional midwives had felt the ICM was not addressing their interests. The ICM seemed to be primarily concerned with trained professionals, so traditional midwives and those interested in working with them (30-35 midwives and advocates) held two informal meetings. They created their own subcommittee, the Committee to Promote Inclusiveness, and wrote a letter to request formal recognition from the ICM. The ICM responded that they could not recognize the group but advised that it continue to meet informally.

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About Author: Maria Fannin

Maria Fannin is a PhD student in geography at the University of Washington in Seattle. She is writing her dissertation on political activism and health care reform by midwives in Quebec, Canada and France. Her research focuses on the politics of reproduction, caring labor and the spaces of childbirth.

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