Midwives and Midwifery
History & Mission
After working for over a decade, for many years in secret, midwives, health workers and organizations joined together to become a WRA National Alliance in 2013, specifically to advocate for the creation of a national Nursing and Midwifery Council. Our vision is a world where all girls and women realize their right to quality health and well-being. Our mission is to activate a people-led movement for reproductive, maternal and newborn health and rights that puts citizens at the center of global, national and local efforts.
In Afghanistan, decades of war, civil strife and a weakened economy, coupled with repressive attitudes toward women, has led to a tragically high number of women dying in childbirth (638 for every 100,000 live births). The majority of Afghan women are not attended to by a skilled health worker during childbirth, leading to preventable deaths of women and newborns.
The most effective way of reducing these unnecessary deaths is through the promotion of midwifery in the country, which is why WRA Afghanistan’s coalition of midwives, health workers and organizations is working to create a national Nursing and Midwifery Council that can operate effectively throughout the country.
Current activities are suspended due to the ongoing conflict situation, however, we remain committed to promoting the importance of nursing and midwifery to improve maternal and newborn health services and end preventable maternal deaths in Afghanistan.
After five years of dedicated advocacy work by White Ribbon Alliance Afghanistan and partners, a core objective of WRA Afghanistan’s founding was realized in 2018 when the Government of Afghanistan established the Afghanistan Midwifery and Nursing Council, a professional regulatory body for midwives and nurses that will improve quality maternal and newborn health services by allowing for a more cohesive approach to healthcare for women and babies.
Through a series of citizen dialogues between 2015-2017, WRA Afghanistan allows for open discussions while raising concerns about the state of maternal and newborn care in Afghanistan. These public convenings allow WRA Afghanistan to gather the evidence needed to prove that regulatory councils are essential in improving the quality and safety of maternal and newborn care and ensure accountability of health workers for the care they provide within Afghanistan.
In 2014, WRA Afghanistan mobilized support through a series of Mothers’ Nights events that educate policymakers, including representatives from the Ministry of Justice, key parliamentarians, and the Chief Executive of Afghanistan (akin to Prime Minister), about their role in improving care for mothers. They also broker opportunities for midwives to advocate in person for the creation of a regulatory body for their profession.
Thank you to our partner
Health Policy Plus Project