What is ICM?

ICM-Logo_NoStrap_RGBWith over 116 Member Associations, led by midwives who determine their own governance and activities, the International Confederation of Midwives (ICM) is the world’s largest alliance of midwife associations. ICM is the global voice of over 400,000 midwives in over 100 countries and territories. Our vision, mission and aims underpin our global work.

Our vision, a world where every childbearing woman has access to a midwife’s care for herself and her newborn, directly mirrors the ♯Midwives4all campaign.

And our mission is to strengthen Member Associations and to advance the profession of midwifery globally by promoting autonomous midwives as the most appropriate caregivers for childbearing women and in keeping birth normal, in order to enhance the reproductive health of women, (including adolescents) and the health of their newborns and their families.

Strengthening Midwives Associations is one of the most important functions of ICM as a membership organisation. Midwives need strong professional associations in order to reach their individual goals and those of the profession worldwide. ICM uses several approaches to support member associations.

Once such approach has been has been “twinning”, where two associations are matched to share experiences and learn from each other. This is a “two-way mutually beneficial exchange between two member associations” has been successful. (url to twinning page)

As an accredited non-governmental organisation, ICM represents midwives and midwifery to organisations worldwide, with which we share common goals, to enhance the reproductive health of women and the health of their newborn and families. These organisations include the WHO and other UN Agencies, global professional health care organisations, non-governmental organisations, civil society groups and foundations.

ICM works on many different projects in the four regions – Africa, Americas, Asic-Pacific and Europe – pursuing its mission to strengthen member associations globally and advance the profession of midwifery. We develop resources: core documents that set standards for education and regulation (accompanied by tools and guidelines) to review and improve the education and regulation of midwives and midwifery globally.  Midwives educated and skilled in the 7 essential competency domains for basic midwifery practice. Each domain includes basic and additional competencies encompassing the knowledge, skills, and attitudes needed to provide high-quality, lifesaving care.

Sexual & Reproductive Health and Rights is very important and the ICM competencies no. 2 & No. 7 are particularly important.  Just click here for easy access

Midwives role in adolescent health is important in the health of pregnant adolescents and in their access to contraception.  Although the definition of the midwife is not explicit in ICM acknowledges that midwives scope of practice for girls and women of reproductive age who are childbearing.

Numerous workshops have been held in different regions, with member associations and stakeholders, to disseminate and advocate for adoption and utilisation of the standards, competencies and tools as widely as possible.

This year look out for two new resources: 1. The Midwifery Regulation toolkit which provides a practical approach and resources to assist midwifery associations in lobbying for legislation and policy necessary to establish midwifery regulation, particularly in countries with limited or non-existent midwifery regulation and 2. the Midwifery Services Framework  a guiding framework for workforce planning in maternal and sexual reproductive health to support governments to plan their workforce needs in Maternal newborn and child health. It will be piloted in 3 countries this year.

Our partners are varied and we welcome new partnerships in ending preventable maternal and newborn mortality worldwide.


–Frances Day-Stirk
ICM President