Changemaker:Christina Mudokwenyu-Rawdon

Location:Zimbabwe

I’m playing my part for reproductive and maternal healthcare by committing myself to active involvement in the work of the White Ribbon Alliance locally, nationally, and globally

Through White Ribbon Alliance, I found a global partnership of advocates that are as dedicated as I am about helping women and newborns.

My name is Christina Mudokwenyu-Rawdon, and I am a midwife and one of the founding members of White Ribbon Alliance Zimbabwe.

In midwifery, you care for the mother, you care for the baby, and you are a partner in bringing babies into the world. I knew my entire life that I wanted to be a midwife, to be a trusted midwife, to be a competent and confident midwife, and to be part of a team of professional midwives who bring life into the world, and also saves mothers and babies during the critical time of pregnancy and childbirth..

By being a midwife, you learn how to be an advocate because there are some areas where mothers and their families are voiceless: their rights are violated, they cannot defend themselves. Being an advocate is an important part of midwifery services and is an important part of meeting the needs of childbearing women and speaking for the voiceless. Through White Ribbon Alliance, I found a global partnership of advocates that are as dedicated as I am about helping women and newborns.

White Ribbon Alliance Zimbabwe advocacy success stems from our bottom-top approach – instead of a top-bottom approach – to policy change and policy development, because policies that come from the community bring in community ownership of projects that promote maternal and newborn health, making them more successful and sustainable.

I am a strong advocate for respectful maternity care. I have seen how powerful a tool the Respectful Maternity Care Charter is for creating change for women’s health and rights. The Charter is like a road map and can be used as a reference for quality improvement in any institution where maternity services are provided.  It is a reminder that, when you are caring for women, there are rights that need to be honored, and that these rights are related to the care that you give to the woman in front of you, and to the care that you are giving to her baby. All health workers, including midwives, must know that a human right is a right and a right will never change, and their personal treatment of mothers and their newborns matters. Through our advocacy efforts, White Ribbon Alliance Zimbabwe managed to integrate respectful maternity care teachings with the University of Zimbabwe and the Women’s University in Africa medical school curricula. Because of the efforts of White Ribbon Alliance, the Respectful Maternity Care Charter is a tool that will be used in maternity units in Zimbabwe for a very long time.

I must say that I am compassionate about the lives of women and the lives of babies. I love when a woman brings a baby into the world who is healthy, and when the mother is healthy and happy after childbirth. No matter what challenges I may face, I will persevere, because I am committed to the work that I do. Once you become a midwife and an advocate, you cannot help but be transformed – the desire to help mothers and babies is so very strong inside of you. And, once you find White Ribbon Alliance, you can turn that passion into lasting, lifesaving policy change that helps the women and babies living in your own community, your country, and across the world.

Thank youChristina Mudokwenyu-Rawdon

for playing your part.

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