The Norwegian Nobel Commitee has decided to divide the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize to equal parts between Ellen Johnson Sirelaf (Liberia), Leymah Gbowee (Liberia) and Tawakkul Karman (Yemen) for their non-violent struggle for the safety of women and women’s rights to full participation in peace-building work.
Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is Africa’s first democratically elected female president. Since her inauguration in 2006, she has contributed to securing peace in Liberia, to promoting economic and social development, and to strengthening the position of women.
Leymah Gbowee mobilized and organized women across ethnic and religious dividing lines to bring an end to the long war in Liberia, and to ensure women’s participation in elections. She has since worked to enhance the influence of women in West Africa during and after war.
In the most trying circumstances, both before and during the „Arab spring“, Tawakkul Karman has played a leading part in the struggle for women’s rights and for democracy and peace in Yemen.
The announcement of the Norwegian Nobel Committee states: „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. In October 2000, the UN Security Council adopted Resolution 1325. The resolution for the first time made violence against women in armed conflict an international security issue. It underlined the need for women to become participants on an equal footing with men in peace processes and in peace work in general.“
Related articles at Common Ground News Service
A woman leading change in Yemen by Alice Hackman, 1 March 2011
Make sure women can lead in the Middle East by Carla Koppell and Haleh Esfandiari, 8 March 2011
The women of the Arab spring: from protesters to parliamentarians? by Natana J. DeLong-Bas, 14 June 2011
Pictures sourced at http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/peace/laureates/2011/