Who we are

The International Confederation of Midwives (ICM) supports, represents and works to strengthen professional associations of midwives throughout the world.

The International Confederation of Midwives (ICM) supports, represents and works to strengthen professional associations of midwives throughout the world. There are currently 132 Members Associations, representing 113 countries across every continent. ICM is organised in six regions:

  • Africa (Anglophone and Francophone)
  • Americas (North America & Caribbean and Latin America)
  • Western Pacific
  • Eastern Mediterranean
  • South East Asia
  • Europe (Northern, Central and Southern)


Together these associations represent over 500,000 midwives globally. Click to view the distribution of the Midwives' Associations.

ICM is an accredited non-governmental organisation representing midwives and midwifery to organisations worldwide to achieve common goals in the care of mothers and newborns. ICM works closely with the WHO, UNFPA and other UN Agencies; global professional health care organisations including the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO), the International Pediatric Association (IPA), the International Council of Nurses (ICN), non-governmental organisations; bilateral and civil society groups.

History

Since the early 1900s there were a variety of international meetings of midwives in Europe, with the exception of an eight-year gap (1914-1922) due to World War II. In 1922, the International Midwives Union (IMU) was created in Belgium, the forerunner of the International Confederation of Midwives (ICM) and meetings of European midwives continued at uneven intervals, also affected by World War II. In 1954, the reconstituted IMU changed its name to ICM and appointed Marjorie Bays as the first Executive Secretary. The first Head Office was based in London. In 1999 the ICM Council decided to move the Head Office to The Hague, Netherlands where it has been ever since.

As the global organisation of midwives associations with members in 113 countries, ICM represents over 500,000 midwives globally. It is governed by an International Council made up of delegates from each of its 132 Member Associations. The Council is responsible for setting the strategic direction for the forthcoming triennium. Every three years, at the ICM Triennial Congress, the Council elects a Board for a three-year term. The Board comprises a President, Vice-President, Treasurer and regional Board memebrs from the six ICM regions.

The Strategy for the 2017-2020 triennium is Quality, Equity and Leadership and reflects the priorities and aspirations of our Member Associations, articulated by the ICM Council and elaborated by the ICM Board.  

ICM leads the call of midwives and women at global, regional and local levels for strengthened services by midwives.  To achieve this ICM will continue to harness the energy, enthusiasm and insights of midwives and stakeholders around the world.  

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