Midwives praised for showing women 'how strong they are'

Weekend Life 05/05/2018
Photo: Getty.

With hundreds of midwives recently marching for better pay and working conditions, one woman defends the unique offering of the modern day midwife.

Chloe Wright, founder of the Wright Family Foundation, told RadioLIVE that the western medicine model is “not necessarily the model of empowerment” for women. 

Midwives, she explained, help show women how strong they really are. 

Unlike western doctors, she explains that midwives are able to share an intimate journey with the mother.  

Ms Wright says that the public may not be aware of the role that midwives play under “very difficult circumstances”.

Though not a midwife herself, Ms Wright has been championing for better working conditions for midwives across the country.

New Zealand College of Midwives estimates the current average wage for rural midwives is $7.23 an hour, and for urban midwives $12.80 an hour.

There was no funding for travel costs or administrative work.

“Clearly they need to be paid in a way that recompenses and recognises what they do,” Ms Wright said.

Midwives are hoping for more funding in next week’s budget, particularly to help ease the midwife loads in rural areas.

“These are smart women, who do what they do because they love it. Who know what they need to have to support what they’re doing and the government needs to listen to their voice.

“When I began what I began, I began it for women to get the best start in life.”

Hundreds of midwives marched earlier this week in Wellington to demand better pay and working conditions.

They marched from Civic Square to the Beehive, chanting "One, two, three, four, we don't want to be so poor."

Listen to the full interview with Chloe Wright above.

Weekend Life with Carly Flynn,10am - 2pm on Saturday and streaming live on 'rova' channel 9 - available on Android and iPhone.