Welcome to the 32nd ICM Virtual Triennial Congress


The largest virtual gathering for midwives ever!

Premier sponsor of the 32nd ICM Virtual Triennial Congress

June 2021

Plenary Sessions

Wednesday, 2 June

The State of the World’s Midwifery (SoWMy) 2021 

Time: New York 08:30 | London 13:30  

Length: 60 minutes   

Format: Panel discussion  

Improving maternal and newborn health was one of the Millennium Development Goals’ unfinished agendas, and it has remained a high priority of the Sustainable Development Goals era.  At ICM, we have always known that midwives are the solution to achieving a substantial reduction in maternal and neonatal mortality and stillbirths. However, to realise this potential, midwives need to have the recommended skills and competencies, be part of a team of sufficient size and skill, and work in an enabling environment.  

The State of the World’s Midwifery (SoWMy) 2021 report will launch shortly before the Virtual Triennial Congress on International Day of the Midwife (5th May). It will underscore the case for investment in midwives and provide an updated evidence base and detailed analysis of the current progress and future challenges to deliver effective coverage and quality of midwives and midwifery services. This plenary session will explore and publicise key findings within the report, convening leaders from the SoWMy authoring organisations, decision-makers, policymakers and midwives. Panellists will discuss investment in midwives in light of these new findings in order to strengthen midwifery and improve maternal and newborn healthcare.

Wednesday, 9 June

Paving the way for Strengthened Health Systems: Lessons from a Global Pandemic

Time: New York 04:00 | London 09:00 

Length: 60 minutes  

Format: Panel discussion  

This plenary session will explore how midwives have persevered and adapted amidst COVID-19. Despite the destruction this pandemic has wreaked on health systems around the world, healthcare workers, including midwives, have found new ways to support communities and develop strengthened procedures and systems in the process. This conversation will highlight the specific challenges midwives have faced over the past 18 months. Panellists will focus on innovations borne as a result of COVID-19, share lessons learned from the pandemic,  explore what post-pandemic midwifery looks like and explain the messages health authorities need to hear.

Wednesday, 16 June

Dismantling societal inequities in Midwifery: The Importance of Midwives providing culturally appropriate care

Time: New York 19:00 | London 00:00 (17 June)

Length: 60 minutes   

Format: Panel discussion with Q&A 

Through our Stronger Together Webinar Series and other media opportunities, ICM has engaged with thought-leaders from racialised communities to explore how Black, Indigenous, People of Colour (BIPOC) women navigate birth. Around the world, systems, policies, and funding often mirror society’s inequities. The same is true for global healthcare systems and midwifery and communities most affected by barriers to equitable, respectful, and culturally appropriate midwifery care are the ones most frequently left out of the conversation.

This session will provide an opportunity to engage new and existing partners and midwife leaders in an honest discussion on the distressing and far too often fatal maternal health outcomes experienced by BIPOC women. These passionate advocates for culturally appropriate midwifery care will share their evaluations of what is needed to dismantle the structures, policies and powers that continue to produce poor health outcomes in pregnancy for BIPOC women. This discussion will also explore what midwives can do in their daily work to promote anti-racism and dismantle colonialism, sexism, and problematic power dynamics inherent in healthcare systems around the world.

Wednesday, 23 June

Midwives and the Media: Learning from stories told about midwives and the communities they care for

Time: New York 04:00 | London 09:00 

Length: 60 minutes  

Format: Panel discussion  

More than ever, midwives and their life-saving work are being acknowledged in media stories and at global events and conferences. This is a small but notable step toward a world where midwives are well-resourced, adequately compensated and the decision-makers of their own profession. To  analyse and understand the growing momentum, this panel discussion will feature renowned journalists who’ve devoted their careers to covering maternal health and sexual and reproductive health issues. It will explore prominent industry stories from the past year and consider how storytelling can be used as a vehicle for change and policy reform.

Wednesday, 30 June

Nurturing the Relationship between Midwives and Women

Time: New York 19:00 | London 00:00 (1 July) 

Length: 60 minutes 

Format: Panel discussion   

The final plenary session of this year’s Congress will highlight the relationship between women and midwives and explore the idea that midwifery is central to gender equality and feminism. The panel discussion will feature a conversation between women and their midwives, and will include prominent feminist advocates who use their platforms to provide women with information about midwife-led continuity of care and its life-promoting, life-saving benefits.


For registration and abstract information about the 32nd ICM Triennial Congress, please contact the Congress Secretariat at: