Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf says she felt "humbled" by her Nobel Peace Prize recognition, but welcomed the honor as recognition of a long struggle to achieve peace in her West African nation.
She spoke to VOA's James Butty Friday in Monrovia:
“I’m very excited. I’m very thankful. And I’m also humbled to have this award. I believe it is recognition of my many years of struggle," Sirleaf said. "But I also believe it is recognition of the Liberian people’s quest for peace. And the fact that the past 8 years they have all collectively maintained the peace.
"I particularly want to talk about Liberian women. I am getting this award with Leymah Gbowee. And Leymah Gbowee is very deserving because she mobilized women to challenge a dictatorship - market women, rural women, professional woman, church women - and they sat in the rain and the sun for days advocating for peace.
"We owe it to African women and we can just recommit to working harder for equal opportunity for all women to reach their potential. I hope we become the role models and that that will motivate and inspire women the world over to go for leadership, to take a greater role in their societies.
"I’m just honored. I am so grateful.”
Female Nobel Peace Prize winners 1905-2011: