Many midwives around the world celebrate the 'International Day of the Midwife' on 5 May each year. The ICM established the idea of the 'International Day of the Midwife' following suggestions and discussion among member associations in the late 1980s, then launched the initiative formally in 1992. The aim of the day is to celebrate midwifery and to bring awareness of the importance of midwives' work to as many people as possible. This is done in many different ways according to what works best in each country. Examples of activities with which midwifery associations mark the day include:
Organising a street parade and rally in a public place.
Setting up stalls in a market to publicise midwifery services and to offer information and advice.
Holding a meeting, workshop or conference to hear about new developments in midwifery and exchange news with other midwives in the region.
Giving awards to individual or groups of midwives for special pieces of work.
In countries where midwifery is well established, raising money to help midwives overseas where extra resources are greatly needed (for example buying bicycles for midwives' transport in remote areas, or sponsoring a midwife to attend an important conference).
Some midwives just get together to talk, eat, drink, perhaps sing or dance, and generally have a good time!
The International Day of the Midwife is an occasion for every individual midwife to think about the many others in the profession, to make new contacts within and outside midwifery, and to widen the knowledge of what midwives do for the world. In the years leading up to 2015, ICM will use the overarching theme “The World Needs Midwives Today More Than Ever” as part of an ongoing campaign to highlight the need for midwives. This reflects the WHO call for midwives and the need to accelerate progress towards MDGs 4 and 5.
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