Black maternal death campaigners, Clotilde Rebecca Abe and Atinuke Awe, have been nominated for the inaugural Petition Campaign of the Year Award at the Your UK Parliament Awards.
Their petition Improve Maternal Mortality Rates and Health Care for Black Women in the UK received more than 187,000 signatures.
The petition highlighted that Black women are five times more likely to die during pregnancy and after childbirth than White women. The Petitions Committee has scheduled a debate on the petition for 19 April.
After the Petitions Committee highlighted their petition to the Health and Social Care Committee (HSCC), they were invited to give evidence to the HSCC as part of its wider inquiry into maternity safety. They had never given evidence to a Parliamentary Committee before.
The Chair of HSCC, Jeremy Hunt said:
“I am absolutely delighted to support Clotilde Abe and Tinuke Awe for the Petition Campaign of the Year award. As witnesses, they were articulate, passionate, and thoughtful, and the evidence they gave us about both their own experiences, and the excellent work they are taking forward to improve maternity safety for black women, was extremely valuable to our inquiry.”
Atinuke, from Lambeth, and Clotilde, from Greenwich, first met through their campaigning and joined together to set up the Five X More grassroots organisation.
The MPs on the Petitions Committee will select the winners shortly, and the full list of nominees and the winner will be announced in due course.
The 4th annual Your UK Parliament Awards recognise the individuals across the UK who have taken democratic action on the issues they care about. There are six categories, which celebrate individuals, schools, and organisations who have made a difference in their communities and beyond.
Catherine McKinnell, Chair of the Petitions Committee said:
“These campaigns are a testament to the power of petitions to raise awareness of issues that might otherwise struggle to be heard in Parliament.
“The nominees have each shown how to organise a successful campaign, building on their petitions by gathering support from the wider public, charities and others who share their concerns
“I have been so impressed by our nominees’ passion, determination, and ideas for how to tackle the problems they’ve set their minds to, and congratulate them on their achievements.”
The winners will receive a commemorative trophy and all nominees will receive a certificate to celebrate their achievements. Further information on the awards can be found here.