Acknowledgements What a truly extraordinary journey this PhD has been. It was nothing I expected, and everything more. I have learned so much: about science, about midwifery, and about myself. Most of all, I have learned that evidence is subjective, research is political, and academia is activism. This is especially true in midwifery, a field that is deeply gendered, raced and classed. I also discovered that I have more perseverance than I had ever imagined. But I could not have I have finished this journey without help. There were numerous good times. But it was not always easy. I persisted because of the inspiration and support of many. A few of them I want to thank. Maman, baba, Shahram, Pune, Negar, Sanaz, Noah and Liam, thank you for being my home, no matter the distance to Iran and each other. Maman, thank you for teaching me that I have inexhaustible power in my blood, as a woman, as an Iranian, as your daughter. Raymond, thank you for listening to my ideas on that bridge in Prague, for believing in me, pushing me, and helping me write the research proposal that led me to this PhD. AVAG, thank you for this opportunity. Gea and Wilma, thank you for your support. Ank, how lucky I have been to have you as my mentor. The past years have not always been easy. We do not only complement, but also challenge each other. Thank you for your wisdom and pushback. I wouldn’t be half the critical researcher I am today if it were not for you. François, although you left my PhD-committee halfway through my trajectory, you have been there in the background till the end. Lianne, thank you for not only being my co-supervisor, but also for being my friend. Maaike, thank you for your support during one of the hardest periods in my trajectory, when I started discovering the politics and activism in academia, and for all the adventures at the medical faculty. Your presence made the building, especially the restrooms, a lot more fun to be in . But most of all, thank you for becoming my family, for loving me, believing in me, for your wisdom, and the gift of critical feminist intersectionality. Your inspiration is woven into this dissertation. I truly could not have done this without you. Meredith, it was always a happy surprise when you walked in through the door. 199 & APPENDICES