Birthworkers for Human Rights – The Mission
Birthworkers for Human Rights began in 2020 to bring to attention, and to call for birthworker accountability, in addressing the deepening harm being caused by the Medical Industrial Complex, to people accessing reproductive care as a result of the COVID19 pandemic. It is acknowledged that birthwork, like many areas of healthcare, is deeply rooted in white supremacy, and that birthworkers who sit within power and privilege, must take personal and collective accountability for harm, and the ways in which their practises deepen and uphold racism, discrimination, obstetric violence, human rights violations and contribute to morbidity/mortality, trauma and perinatal mental illness.
The mission of Birthworkers for Human Rights is two fold. Firstly, and vitally, to center and support the vital work of birthworkers who identify as Black, Indigenous and people of the global majority (BIPGM), Two-Spirit, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and/or Questioning, Intersex, Asexual (2SLGBTQIA+), disabled, neuro-divergent and other marginalized groups of birthworkers, whose voices are typically silenced and who experience discrimination, marginalization, inequity and barriers in supporting their communities to access safe, humanized, culturally appropriate and gender affirming care. These birthworkers have always done the work, and they should be prioritized, with their work and voices centered and uplifted, always.
Secondly, Birthworkers for Human Rights provides an educational space for those birthworkers who sit within multiple layers of privilege, to take self and collective accountability for actively addressing their own personal power in birthwork and for identifying the ways in which white supremacy and the multiple systems of oppression and power, present in their birthwork, and result in reproductive care inequities, disparities and human rights violations faced by the most vulnerable, and marginalized people in their communities, and which deepen the harm caused by the Medical Industrial Complex.
Through the provision of information, signposting and call to action/discussion posts, the Birthworkers for Human Rights Activism Group aims to facilitate active reflection, growth and required meaningful change. Group members are required to stand in their autonomy, to incorporate activism and advocacy into their role and to identify when they are centering their privilege over the needs of marginalized people or birthworkers and are complicit in harm. Establishing support structures within birthworker communities that facilitate cohesion, communication, opportunity to use collective power and collaboration, peer mentoring, self-reflection, and healing of trauma is the basis to the longevity of this challenging but essential reproductive justice work.
Birthworkers for Human Rights Activism Group is an online social media group and Birthworkers for Human Rights is a social media page for all birthworkers, globally. Please join and follow! If you would like to become actively involved in the mission, please contact me!