Midwifery is a vital solution: What is holding back global progress?

Mary J Renfrew, Elena Ateva, Jemima Araba Dennis-Antwi, Deborah Davis, Lesley Dixon, Peter Johnson, Holly Powell Kennedy, Anneka Knutsson, Ornella Lincetto, Fran McConville, Alison McFadden, Hatsumi Taniguchi, Petra Ten Hoope Bender, Willibald Zeck

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


We need look no further than midwifery for compelling evidence of gender inequalities blocking progress in global health. Despite growing evidence of the extensive impact of midwifery, midwives and the women they care for are disempowered by patriarchal structures and professional, socio‐cultural, and economic barriers. Widespread misunderstanding of the role and scope of midwifery exists at all levels of policy, health services, academia, and funders. The consequence is the fragmentation of care, with inevitable safety and quality gaps.8 This retards progress on universal health coverage and efforts to improve quality, equity, and dignity, and contributes to adverse outcomes including the unprecedented rise in unnecessary and unsafe interventions. These barriers disable the human rights of women and children, and ultimately harm families, communities, and economies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)396-399
Number of pages4
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2019


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