Tricia Thompson uses a social justice lens of sustainability to examine the social and political position of women, mothers and midwives globally. The most basic tenet and the reality for many of the world’s mothers is surviving childbirth and as a result there is often an exclusive focus on women’s / midwives’ immediate and practical needs. Taking a more nuanced ‘gender and development’ approach requires us to challenge the status quo of existing hierarchies and structures. Tricia Thompson outlines the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the work being carried out by the International Confederation of Midwives to promote and protect women’s reproductive rights. Just as women cannot make fundamental changes to their lives without also having more power, more status, more voice, and more decision-making authority to be empowered in a broader sense, neither can midwives.