Womens activists receive 2011 Nobel Peace Prize

October 7th, 2011 by | Permalink

Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Levmah Gbowee and Tawakkul Karman recipents of this year's Nobel Peace Prize - the guardian.com

Tawakkul Karman, Levmah Gbowee, and President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf are the recipients of this year’s Nobel Peace Prize for their work to advance world peace and their fight for women’s rights.

As the first democratically elected female president in Africa, Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has fought against the rape and abuse of women while standing up to Yemen’s autocratic regime.  As a Harvard-educated economist, Sirleaf has been commended for the progress she has achieved after the 14-year war in Liberia.

“This gives me a stronger commitment to work for reconciliation,” Sirleaf said Friday from her home in Monrovia. “Liberians should be proud.”

The first Arab woman ever to win the peace prize; a Yemeni journalist and human rights activist, Tawakkul Karman has worked to get political prisoners released in her home country through organizing sit-ins and marches.  The mother of three has received death threats due to her work and in her role as a major figurehead of the Arab Spring opposition. At 32-years-old Karman is one of the youngest recipients of the prize.

“I am very very happy about this prize,” Karman told The Associated Press. “I give the prize to the youth of revolution in Yemen and the Yemeni people.” Karman has been dubbed “Iron Woman, “The Mother of Revolution” and “The Spirit of the Yemeni Revolution” by fellow protesters.

During a February rally in Sanaa, she told the AP: “We will retain the dignity of the people and their rights by bringing down the regime.”

The third recipient is a key figure in organizing the movement to end the Second Liberian Civil War; in 2002 Leymah Gbowee started the peace movement by getting women to pray for peace by non-violent protests according to ABC News.

The women will split the prize, which is 10 milion Kronor ($1.5 milion).

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