Gender Inclusivity & Human Rights
The Association of Ontario Midwives (AOM) is committed to respecting the human rights of all people and working to making our organization and midwifery respectful and inclusive of trans, genderqueer, and intersex people. We are committed challenging cisnormativity and heteronormativity and including trans, genderqueer, and intersex communities in our central dialogue to ensure that the AOM is inclusive in its statements, actions, and in all aspects of our work.
Discrimination in the provision of services can cause trans, genderqueer, and intersex people to delay or avoid necessary health care services often to the point of putting their overall health at risk. Transphobia can also operate in the workplace, putting trans, genderqueer, and intersex midwives and staff at risk for violence and harassment. We are also aware that transphobia disproportionately affects those with other intersecting identities such as racialized persons, Indigenous people, people with disabilities, and all living with the effects of the social determinants of health.
It is critical that midwives honor and respect all people’s right to self-determination and right to receive health care and work in a professional environment that is free from discrimination, transphobia, and prejudice. The AOM supports the changes the Canadian Association of Midwives (CAM) and the Midwives Alliance of North America (MANA) have made to their policies and materials to ensure that they are inclusive in language, scope, and intent. The AOM is committed to providing resources and education for our members and auditing our own organization to ensure all communication materials, services, and policies are inclusive with respect to gender identity and gender expression.
We have begun our work on these issues within AOM and recognize that we still have much to learn and far to go as an organization and as individuals. We are committed to our own continuing education, in partnership with organizations and individuals who can provide guidance and direction to the AOM.
The AOM believes that all midwives and midwifery practices can and should provide an environment where all individuals are welcomed, treated with dignity and respect, and encouraged to be active members of the community.
This statement was developed in reference to the Canadian Association of Midwives Statement on Gender Inclusivity and Human Rights, which the AOM's board of directors endorsed in October, 2015.