News / Africa

Nobel Peace Prize Goes to Trio of Liberian, Yemeni Women

Africa's first democratically elected female president, a Liberian peace activist and a woman who stood up to Yemen's authoritarian regime won the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday Oct. 7, 2011 for their work to secure women's rights, which the prize committee
Africa's first democratically elected female president, a Liberian peace activist and a woman who stood up to Yemen's authoritarian regime won the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday Oct. 7, 2011 for their work to secure women's rights, which the prize committee
TEXT SIZE - +

African Peace Prize Winners:

  • 2011 - Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and Leymah Gbowee, Liberia, "for their non-violent struggle for the safety of women and for women’s rights to full participation in peace-building work."
  • 2004 - Wangari Muta Maathai, Kenya, "for her contribution to sustainable development, democracy and peace."
  • 2001 - The United Nations and U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, Ghana, "for their work for a better organized and more peaceful world."
  • 1993 - Nelson Mandela and Frederik Willem de Klerk, South Africa, "for their work for the peaceful termination of the apartheid regime, and for laying the foundations for a new democratic South Africa."
  • 1984 - Desmond Mpilo Tutu, South Africa, "to direct attention to the non-violent struggle for liberation to which Desmond Tutu belongs, a struggle in which black and white South Africans unite to bring their country out of conflict and crisis."
  • 1960 - Albert John Lutuli, South Africa, for leading "10 million black Africans in their nonviolent campaign for civil rights."

For the first time in Nobel Peace Prize history, the prestigious honor has gone to a group of women, in honor of women.

On Friday, the Norwegian Nobel Committee awarded Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Liberian activist Leymah Gbowee and Yemeni peace activist Tawakkul Karman with the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize.

"Ladies and gentleman, the Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided that the Nobel Peace Prize for 2011 is to be divided in three equal parts between Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Leymah Gbowee and Tawakkul Karman for their non-violent struggle, for the safety of women and for women's rights to full participation in peace-building work.”

Mrs. Sirleaf is Africa’s first democratically-elected woman president. Gbowee is known for uniting women against Liberia’s warlords. And Karman is a Yemeni journalist and an outspoken human rights activist.

The Harvard-educated Liberian president took office in 2006, putting women’s rights at the top of her agenda. She said that she owes the award to African women.

"I am very excited, thankful and humbled," Sirleaf said."I believe it is a recognition of many years of struggle but I also believe it is a recognition of the Liberian people quest for peace."

James Butty's interview with President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf:

 

 

 

 

 

Her co-honoree, Gbowee, expressed hope for the country.

"I am a symbol of hope in my community, on the continent, in a place where there is little to be hopeful for," she said. "If you are a symbol of hope, you don't do it because you are expecting a reward. You do it because you are expected to do so and there are people that are relying a depending on you in your community.''

The 2011 Nobel prize is meant to illustrate the importance of women in the peace process, said the Norwegian Nobel panel chairman Thorbjoern Jagland.

"We cannot achieve democracy and lasting peace in the world unless women obtain the same opportunities as men to influence developments at all levels of society," Jagland said.

On Friday in Sana'a, Karman reacted to receiving the Nobel award.

Tawakkul Karman:

  • Karman of Yemen first Arab woman to win Nobel Peace Prize
  • Mother of three from flashpoint city of Taiz a key figure in anti-government protests against President Ali Abdullah Saleh
  • Leader of Women Journalists Without Chains human rights group

"I am very, very happy about this prize and I give the prize to the Arab revolutions and to the peaceful youth revolution in Yemen and the Yemeni people," she said. "I also dedicate this prize to the martyrs and wounded people from peaceful revolutions."

For the women of the Arab Spring, this award gives them the support of the international community. Human Rights Watch researcher Nadya Khalife reacted to the news from her home in Lebanon.

"Fortunately, these three woman have shown that with patience and perseverance anything can really happen," she said. "They really have set an example that the whole world can learn from."

An example the Nobel committee hopes will inspire the women of the Middle East and bring an end to the suppression of women worldwide.

arman

Female Nobel Peace Prize Winners 1905-2011:

You May Like

Algerians Vote in Presidential Election

There were few media reports of protests and clashes around the country, but so far no significant violence More

Sharks More Evolved than Previously Thought

The discovery could “profoundly affect our understanding of evolutionary history” More

Pakistan Military Asked to Protect Polio Workers

Request comes as authorities say a Taliban ban on vaccinations in 2012 and deadly attacks on anti-polio teams have prevented thousands of children from getting inoculated More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid