Mireille Jospin-Dandieu's extraordinary life received little attention outside of her native France, apart from mention of the death of the mother of the former Prime Minister Lionel Jospin. She was a patron of the euthanasia campaign The Association for the Right to Die with Dignity, and chose the timing of her death for herself. Her family announced that she had "decided in serenity to leave life behind".
She was born Mireille Dandieu, a metalworker's daughter, and lost her own mother in her early teens. After training as a midwife in Paris in the late 1920s, she was still active in her profession more than 60 years later, having made the welfare of women foremost among the array of causes to which she dedicated her life. She was a keen supporter of Simone Veil's campaign to end back-street abortions and also fought against traditional female genital mutilation.
Pacifism was a principle she shared with her schoolteacher husband Robert Jospin, whom she married in 1930. Her pacifist convictions dated from her adolescent years, when the Versailles settlement did not take long to produce evidently nefarious effects in vanquished Germany. Amnesty International and Greenpeace gained from her formidable energy, as did the child-centred solidarity movement ATD Quart Monde.
As recently as March 2001, Mireille Jospin-Dandieu was a candidate on a left- wing list in the municipal elections, and took to the streets with her colleagues, demanding statutory recognition of midwifery as a profession under French law, not just a sideline in nursing. On the outbreak of the Gulf War in 1991, she went on peace demonstrations against the policies of the Paris government in which her elder son was already a cabinet minister.
Five years earlier, aged 86, Jospin-Dandieu travelled to the village of Nyema in Mali to spend a month training midwives, having first secured the signatures of her children that they agreed not to waste money bringing her body home should she happen to die in the effort. She was still driving her own car in her ninth decade and, apart from her more public works, retained among her lifelong enthusiasms music, Bible reading and rugby.
AIMS Journal, 2020, Vol 32, No 3 By Shane Ridley AIMS Trustee I decided to read through the 1970s , starting with the Quarterly Newsletter for September 1970 which was ty…Read more
AIMS Journal, 2020, Vol 32, No 3 by Dorothy Brassington AIMS Trustee and Treasurer It has been fascinating to read the early newsletters and discover exactly what AIMS wa…Read more
AIMS Journal, 2020, Vol 32, No 3 by Verina Henchy AIMS Trustee I was delighted to hear that the theme for this Journal is to look back over a 60 year history of maternity…Read more
POSTPONED FROM JUNE 2020 Making a difference past and future The purpose of the day is to celebrate what Birth Activists in general and AIMS in particular have achieved,…Read more
Chair: Professor Soo Downe, University of Central Lancashire Dr Gloria Esegbona, OBGYN and Winston Churchill Fellow 2015 Kings College Learning Institute Dr Gloria Esegbo…Read more
Registration for the NICE Annual Conference 2020 will open on 22 January 2020. For more details and to register your interest, please visit http://www.niceconference.org.…Read more
AIMS' evidence to the Health and Social Care Select Committee - Safety of Maternitys Services in England In July 2020, the UK Parliament's Health and Social Care Select C…Read more
A prioritisation framework for care in response to COVID-19 Version 2.1: Published Friday 26 June 2020 AIMS has welcomed the RCOG document Restoration and Recovery: prior…Read more
AIMS' evidence to the Health and Social Care Select Committee On April 22, the UK Parliament's Health and Social Care Select Committee opened an inquiry into the plannin…Read more