In spite of trying several times to get a licensing law passed, California midwives were repeatedly defeated. Partially in frustration and partially in a counter-strategy that had worked in other states, CAM developed its own midwifery certification in 1987, involving verification of clinical experience, skills and extensive written testing. The CAM certified midwives were very proud of themselves; they were professionals and they could prove it.
Trying to be insulting, the Wall Street Journal printed an article, September 23, 1990, about those brazen women in California who dared to certify themselves as midwives! CAM took this as a compliment and created the Brazen Woman Award. Every year an awesome woman is recognized for being brazen in all the hard work she has done for midwifery and CAM.
CAM celebrates the hard work and dedication of the awardee in midwifery activism. In no way should this award be construed as a determination of the midwife's skill nor as a recommendation to use her services.