—Made her country Ghana proud
STOCKHOLM, Sweden, 29.11.2023
Eunice Brookman-Amissah is a Ghanaian physician whose leadership has been instrumental in advancing safe abortion access across Africa.
The Ghanaian physician has just been awarded the Right Livelihood Award (also known as the alternative Nobel Prize) at an elaborate ceremony in Stockholm, Sweden on 29 November 2023.
Other recipients of the award are the following:
Mother Nature Cambodia “For their fearless and engaging activism to preserve Cambodia’s natural environment in the context of a highly restricted democratic space.”
SOS Mediterranee “For its life-saving humanitarian search and rescue operations in the Mediterranean Sea.”
Phyllis Omido from Kenya “For her groundbreaking struggle to secure land and environmental rights for local communities while advancing the field of environmental law.”
“I am grateful that the Award will bring awareness to the issue of unsafe abortions, which, even in the 21st century, remains a contentious topic,” says Dr Brookman-Amissah during the award ceremony.
2023 Right Livelihood Laureates after the Award Presentation in Stockholm
For three decades, she has spearheaded high-level advocacy, sensitisation programmes and training on women’s reproductive rights. Her efforts have successfully united healthcare providers, government officials, lawyers and activists in support of abortion law reforms in Mozambique, Sierra Leone, Benin, Eswatini and Kenya, and abortion law implementation in Ghana, Zambia, Malawi, Senegal and Mauritius, among others.
In Sub-Saharan Africa, 6.2 million unsafe abortions occur each year. It is the most perilous region in the world for abortion access: 92 per cent of women live in a country where abortion is restricted.
Brookman-Amissah, who began her career as a doctor, initially held anti-abortion views. But, when she learned that one of her paediatric patients died from an unsafe abortion, she changed her focus to advocating for safe abortion access. Her advocacy has contributed to a 40 per cent decline in abortion-related deaths in Sub-Saharan Africa since 2000.
When Brookman-Amissah began her advocacy, the term abortion was too taboo to mention, let alone champion at high-level forums. Nonetheless, she tirelessly raised the issue to empower women, enhance their autonomy, improve their health, and ultimately, create an environment where they can thrive personally and professionally. Brookman-Amissah is a pioneer in the field of sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR).