Faroe islands post issued a set of two stamps featuring Traditional Women’s Professions – The Midwife and The Nurse.
When talking about traditional female professions, the midwife probably counts as the oldest. Since the earliest days of mankind, experienced women acted as midwives for other women, and there, as well as in other disciplines, probably have been certain women in the clan, village or local community, which practically had it as a career.
On the Faroe Islands has ancient concept nærkona “(near/close woman), which originally acted as midwife – and probably also as the nurse in the neighborhood. These were self-taught women with some knowledge of midwifery, but without much knowledge of complications. After the regular midwifes came, these women often acted as their helpers, or assisted at the birth if the midwife did not arrive in time.
Just like the midwife the modern nurse roots back to the woman’s traditional role as the caretaker for the sick and weak in the family. There probably has not been much distinction between care and treatment, and in most neighborhoods, there have been people, mostly women, who knew little about healthcare.
In medieval Europe there was some form of organized nursing around the monasteries, where monks and nuns took care of the sick and infirm. The monasteries built a fairly extensive knowledge of nursing, but the purge of the monasteries during the Reformation in the sixteenth century was a major setback for nursing in the reformed countries.
During the time that followed, nursing was performed by uneducated women in the few hospitals, and it was not until the first half of the nineteenth century, that proper care of patients was organized. At that time the Deaconess Movement started in Germany, where mostly unmarried women from the bourgeoisie received lessons in patient care.
Title: Traditional Women’s professions – Faroe Islands
Date of Issue: 21 February 2011
Country: Faroe Island
Denominations: 6,00 and 16,00 DKK