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Midwives for Peace: Freedom for Birth

We received an update from our partners at Midwives for Peace about a recent meeting, and we wanted to share it with MADRE supporters.

This meeting was dedicated to watching the film “Freedom for Birth,” which presents issues of human rights during childbirth. The film was produced by British filmmakers and was screened worldwide on September 20 at over 1000 venues. It tells the story of the Hungarian midwife Agnes Gereb who is in jail because she attended home births in her country. One of the mothers she delivered brought her case to the European Court of Human Rights and cleared her name, but Agnes is not free yet.

Our group got permission from the producers to add Arabic subtitles to the film. We also got support for this project from our sisters at Madre, and for this we are all very grateful to them.

The project enabled a group of 24 women who came to the meeting to watch the film together, and discuss a subject that we all deal with at some point, as professionals and as women. The film with the Arabic subtitles will be shown to other Arabic speakers who could not attend the meeting. For more information on the film go to

We received an update from Halla about a new regulation that the Palestinian ministry of health has decided on to prohibit home births in the West Bank. This will of course influence Halla’s ability to continue her work as a home birth midwife, and we pray to hear better news on this issue.

Midwives for Peace gather together.

We spent parting of the meeting writing about our personal experiences as members of the group for a chapter in a book being written about different midwifery models worldwide.

Our next meeting was set for January 14th, 2013.

November 1, 2012