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Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Traditional Female Professions Honored With Stamps

The Faroe Islands' Post has issued two stamps depicting representative of two traditional women's professions - the midwife and the nurse.

Since the earliest days of mankind, experienced women acted as midwives for other women. The Faroe Islands midwife was 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. The stamp depicts two famous Faroese midwives with children they have delivered. The first is Ebba Wiberg. The other is Astrid av Rogvu, had her own maternity clinic.

The modern nurse roots back to the woman's traditional role as the caretaker for the sick and weak in the family. The first trained nurse on the Faroes was deaconess Mette Cathrine Thomsen, who worked in Torshavn 1897 to 1915, mostly at the Faroe County Hospital. In 1960 a nursing school was established in Torshavn, which has trained Faroese nurses ever since. The stamp depicts two episodes: the man in bed is a young Norwegian, Monrad Jacobsen, who was seriously injured when he was about to unload coal from a Norwegian freighter. The women are nurses at the hospital. The second episode shows little Petra Joensen and her mother Marianna at the Klaksvik hospital. Marianna Joensen worked there all her life. When Petra grew up, she also started to work in the hospital. Petra, who never married, thus spent her entire life at the hospital.