Year of the Midwife extended to 2021

on 17 September 2020 Midwifery Midwives RCM

The Royal College of Midwives has welcomed the announcement by the World Health Organization yesterday (16 September) to extend the International Year of the Nurse and Midwife into 2021. Planned celebrations for the first ever Year of the Midwife were severely curtailed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.


Speaking at the WHO Regional Committee in Copenhagen, Dr Hans Henri P. Kluge, WHO’s European Director, said: “I salute here the nurses and the midwives. It is your year. But you have been so busy that in the WHO European Region I decided to extend the year into 2021. We will push back COVID-19 and I promise: we will celebrate you.”


Welcoming the announcement, RCM Chief Executive Gill Walton said: “We wanted 2020 to be a momentous year for midwives – but none of us could have predicted just how momentous. I’m delighted that the WHO has decided to extend the International Year of the Nurse and Midwife into 2021, so that we can not only celebrate the fantastic work that midwives do year in, year out, but also reflect on an extraordinary time over the past year.”


The RCM will be welcoming members to its own virtual conference in October, where there will be opportunities to celebrate how the profession has pulled together during the COVID crisis, hear how services have adapted and innovated and, importantly, to catch up with friends and colleagues, albeit virtually.