Friday, 7 October 2011

The 2011 edition of the Nobel peace price assigned to three women from Liberia and Yemen

Since 1901, the Nobel Prize has been honoring men and women from all corners of the globe for outstanding achievements in the subjects of physics, chemistry, medicine, literature, and for work in peace. The Nobel Peace Prize for 2011 was awarded jointly to three women Leymah Gbowee, Tawakkul Karman  and Ellen Johnson Sirleaf  with the motivation for "for their non-violent struggle for the safety of women and for women’s rights to full participation in peace-building work". 

Leymah Gbowee
Ms Gbowee is an African peace activist, born in central Liberia, responsible for organising a peace movement that brought an end to the Second Liberian Civil War in 2003.The Women of Liberia Mass Action for Peace movement protested with the former president Charles Taylor and asked him to hold peace talks among the factions in Ghana. Through the Women in Peacebuilding Network (WIPNET), created with Comfort Freeman, she launched in November 2001 a program with the aim of strengthen the capacity of women to enhance their roles in peacebuilding and post conflict reconstruction in West Africa. Very popular became the statement of intent to President  Taylor in 2001: "In the past we were silent, but after being killed, raped, dehumanized, and infected with diseases, and watching our children and families destroyed, war has taught us that the future lies in saying NO to violence and YES to peace! We will not relent until peace prevails.This led to the election of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf in Liberia, the first African nation with a female president.

Tawakkul Karman
Tawakkul Karman, a 32-year old-Yemeni, member of the Yemeni Congregation for Reform, the main opposition party and a human rights activist who heads the group Women Journalists Without Chains that she created in 2005 with the intent to promote the human rights in her country and particularly the freedom of opinion and expression, and the democratic rights". She organised demonstrations in the Yemeni capital Sana'a against Ali Abdullah Saleh, the prime ministers and his government.

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf
At the end of the Second Liberian Civil War and the establishment of a transitional government, Ms Sirleaf, who already served in various international organizations and covered different institutional roles in Liberia, was elected President of Liberia on 23 November 2005. The first African woman to become president in the continent. Within her mandate have been adopted a Freedom of Information Bill, which represent the first legislation of its kind in the region. She will be running for a second mandate in the upcoming presidential elections of next 11 October 2011.

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