Back in October, many midwives in France started protesting and striking. The protests and especially the strikes are still going on, with interruptions, and more and more midwives all over the country are joining it.

sages femmes france

We gave birth to you, you must recognise us

There are around 23,000 midwives in France and the number is falling as the profession becomes increasingly unattractive for many. Five years of training and then 1,650 euros net at the end of the month, for a job that knows no end of the day and no breaks. In order to fight against this, numerous midwives throughout the country have joined forces and made demands. They want the midwifery profession to be treated as a medical profession, as it is written in the legal code, and not as a paramedical profession, as is the case with secretaries in the health sector, for example. This would result in better pay. Although new midwives keep entering the profession, the number is not growing because so many quit exhausted by the work. One midwife said that she attended an average of 250 births a month and that the number was increasing, especially since smaller maternity wards were being closed and the already overcrowded larger maternity wards had even more births. There are also big differences between public and private maternity wards, says a nurse from Toulouse.  While there have already been wage improvements for the publicly employed midwives, the privately employed midwives still earn more than 500 to 800 euros less - and the trend is increasing due to the improvements of the publicly employed midwives. Although the responsible ministry recommended as early as last summer that midwives' salaries must increase, there is still no sign of this. So the strikes and protests will certainly continue for some time.