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.