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WHO/Europe, UNFPA and partners commit to take measures to advance midwifery

May 2023

Midwives provide essential care in spite of challenges.

WHO/Europe and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Regional Office for Eastern Europe and Central Asia have launched the first-ever report on the state of the midwifery workforce in eastern Europe and central Asia. 

“The state of the midwifery workforce in eastern Europe and central Asia” shows that midwifery is vital to the provision of high-quality maternal and newborn care for all women and newborns in all countries, and that it can avert two thirds of maternal and newborn deaths. 

Award-winning documentary "among us women - birth in Megendi"

January 2023

The touching and multiple award-winning documentary among us women (birth in Megendi) can be seen in the ZDF-Mediathek (german) and at numerous film festivals, dates of current film screenings with a birthstorytelling café can be found here.

To make a concrete difference for women, professionals and families in Europe, you can watch the film together with friends, family or colleagues in the ZDF-Mediathek (german) and then share your experiences in a private birthstorytelling café.

> Impact Campaign for Midwifery Training (english)
The film team and the birthcafé campaign would like to use this offer to bring midwives in training and in the profession into the conversation.

Midwifery nominated for international UNESCO list

April 2022

Eight countries from four continents have nominated midwifery for the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. Germany joins Kyrgyzstan, Colombia, Luxembourg, Nigeria, Slovenia, Togo and Cyprus in the application.

Midwifery has been on the national list of Intangible Cultural Heritage since 2016 - now the significance of midwives for life and becoming is also to receive the necessary recognition worldwide.

The relevant committee of the UN organization is expected to decide on the applications at the end of 2023.

Blog introduces midwifery worldwide

February 2022

Katharina Tolle presents our initiative in her blog on 

We are very happy about that: thank you very much! 

> see the blog

Nigeria is part of the process now!

November 2021

We welcome Nigeria as a new partner of our international team – beside Germany, Colombia, Kyrgyzstan, Luxembourg, Slovenia, Togo and Cyprus!

Our website now in 4 languages

July 2021

We are pleased that (almost) all of the content on our website has now been translated into 3 languages: English, French and Spanish.
We look forward to new comments in the guest book!

Film premiere of the application film “The Midwife”

January 2021

The International Year of Midwives and Caregivers begins with a special event for us:

The short film, with which we want to invite other countries to apply for the inclusion of midwives in the UNESCO list of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, has been completed and was presented to the public on 28 January.

There was already a lot of positive feedback in the guestbook!

The film was made with the kind support of dm.
Thank you very much for that!

Nomination process starts!

January 2021

The official nomination process is started with a kick-off meeting. The following seven countries want to jointly write and submit the application: Germany, Colombia, Kyrgyzstan, Luxembourg, Slovenia, Togo and Cyprus. There still is potential for additional countries to join. The multinational group now meets regularly online to coordinate its work.

ICM publishes translation of “Competencies for Midwifery”

December 2020

The International Confederation of Midwives (ICM) has published the publication “Essential Competencies for Midwifery Practice” in German. It sets out the minimum requirements, the knowledge, skills and professional behaviour required of a person to be able to use the term midwife as defined by the ICM.

Competencies for midwifery (DE)

Adobe Acrobat Dokument 2.2 MB

Nomination process in preparation


During the year, our preparatory group met for several virtual working meetings to prepare for the nomination process. This included translating the content of this website, which is now available in English and French. If you are interested in the translated content please contact us by email!

Essential Competencies for Midwifery Practice

October 2019

The International Confederation of Midwives (ICM) has published an update of the wonderful poster “Essential Competencies for Midwifery Practice”. It shows in a vivid way the 4 areas of competence of midwifery work, which work together holistically.

Essential Competences for Midwifery Practice EN
Adobe Acrobat Dokument 456.6 KB

Participation in the Lagois Photo Competition

March 2019

The Midwives for Germany Association took part in the 2019 Lagois Photo Competition "Immaterial Cultural Heritage" and submitted wonderful pictures of the work of midwives! The photos were published in the exhibition’s resulting photo book.

The coveted first prize was won by photographer Chiara Dazi for her photo reportage "Wandertage" about travelling crafts-women undertaking the traditional journey/(wo)man’s journey.


Midwifery nominated for international UNESCO list

March 2018

The German Commission for UNESCO has decided to nominate midwifery as Intangible Cultural Heritage for the international UNESCO list. With this nomination, the expert committee aims to draw attention to the "very valuable skills of midwives".

The UNESCO Commission announced the decision last Friday. The German proposal will be officially submitted in March 2019, and the decision on its acceptance will be made at the end of 2020.

UNESCO: Midwifery is Intangible Cultural Heritage

In 2016, midwifery was included in the German National Register of Intangible Cultural Heritage. Midwifery is one of the oldest practices in the world. Its inclusion in the German National Register of Intangible Cultural Heritage by UNESCO emphasizes the historical importance of the work of midwives, and at the same time points to the current significance of the practice.

Award in Berlin

On May 29th, 2017 in Berlin, the German Commission for UNESCO honoured the sponsor groups of the new entries in the German National Intangible Cultural Heritage List with an award ceremony.


Lisa von Reiche

+49 (0)177 757 25720
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We would like to thank you for your support of the project!