Mrs. Saraki was recognised for her global work in health, gender equality and clean water sanitation. Daniel Myrick wrote: “ People like Toyin Saraki are few and far between trying to alter the balance of power.”
The 7 Unsung Heroes also includes Jamaican Olympic gold medalist Elaine Thompson and historical figures such as the Swedish Humanitarian Raoul Wallenberg who gave protected passports during the Holocaust.
Daniel Myrick honors Mrs. Saraki with a description of her work and accomplishments:
“In the United States, we think of issues from our own experiences and confusing laws. But we hardly have it bad compared to civil rights and women’s health access of third world nations where people are even more often treated like commodities. From these locales come the real unsung heroes. People like Toyin Saraki are few and far between trying to alter the balance of power. Toyin is a healthcare advocate in Nigeria, where she founded Wellbeing Foundation Africa. The group focuses on health, gender equality and clean water and sanitation services.
“Throughout history, women’s health was never a political issue and really only started midway through the 1800s. In 1899, abortion was made illegal in the United States. The backlash from the opposition was fierce and immediate. By the 1960s, there were some inroads to women regaining political control of their own bodies. Still, a large part of society has come to believe that they can tell others how to take care of themselves.”
“The complicating factor making this a legal and political issue is that different people have different levels of ability to understand, making things like informed consent rely on what patients are told. At the same time, people should appreciate that there are strong, educated and confident women that know exactly what they need and want for their own health but are forbidden from doing it because of overly oppressive health care. Unrelenting educators like Toyin Saraki give this critical power back to the poor people who have been robbed of it.”