Dr Brookman-Amissah receives Right Livelihood Award

Dr. Eunice Brookman-Amissah, a former Minister of Health, has received the Right Livelihood Award for her work in reducing preventable maternal deaths in Africa from unsafe abortions. Dr. Brookman-Amissah, a former Ghanaian Ambassador to the Netherlands, was recognized for her tireless work over the past two decades in pushing for policy change and access to safe abortions for women and girls in Africa. The Right Livelihood Prize, also known as the Alternative Nobel Prize, is an international prize that recognises and supports persons who provide practical and outstanding solutions to the world's most pressing concerns. Dr Brookman-Amissah received the award at a gala event in Stockholm, alongside three other laureates from Cambodia, Europe, and Kenya. The Right Livelihood Foundation, located in Stockholm, Sweden, with the motto 'Standing up for Human Courage,' honours people and groups for their commitment to making the world a better place for all. In her acceptance speech, Dr Brookman-Amissah express ed happiness that the highly stigmatised subject of abortion was out of the closet in such a prominent manner. She hoped that it would push governments to review their restrictive laws, make safe legal services available to all women in need of abortion, and put an end to the carnage of preventable deaths. Dr Brookman-Amissah's work at Ipas, the international organization working to bring about reproductive justice and eliminate preventable maternal mortality, centred on addressing the root causes of unsafe abortions and finding viable solutions at the national and regional levels. As a result of her high-level political work with the Africa Union Commission and its agencies, including the African Commission on Human and Peoples Rights, regional health agencies such as the ECOWAS health agency WAHO (West Africa Health Organization), access to safe abortion has become normalized in the regional agenda. Several countries, including Tunisia, Cape Verde, the Republic of South Africa, Ethiopia, Mozambique, Ben in, Sierra Leone, Eswatini, and Kenya, have reviewed their laws to widen legal indications for abortion, and others, such as Ghana and Zambia, are providing safe services within their legal frameworks, while others are in the process of legal reform. Africa has the highest maternal mortality rates in the world, accounting for thousands of maternal deaths globally. Of the over 41 million abortions done worldwide, 25 million are unsafe, with 6.2 million, or a full 25 per cent, occurring in Africa alone. And, of the 39,000 deaths globally from unsafe abortions, 25,000, or 60 per cent, occur in Sub-Saharan Africa, accounting for 30 per cent of maternal mortality in the region. African countries have the most restrictive abortion laws, which were all passed down from Napoleonic and English colonial legislation dating back to 1801 and 1861, respectively. It is thought that Dr Brookman-Amissah's leadership in this field has reduced maternal mortality from unsafe abortion by 40 per cent. Meanwhile, colonial cou ntries have repealed these regulations in the name of women's health and rights, while African women continue to die and be maimed because of those antiquated laws. Source: Ghana News Agency