Thursday, October 13, 2011

3 women 4 peace.

last week, the 2011 nobel peace prize
was awarded to three women
"for their non-violent struggle for the safety of women
& for women's rights to full participation in peace-building work."

liberian president ellen johnson sirleaf, 72,
is africa's first democratically elected woman president.
she accepted the presidency in 2005, following
almost 15 years of civil war & a quarter-million deaths in her nation.
known as "the iron lady," sirleaf holds a harvard university master's degree
in public administration & is up for reelection this year.

liberian peace warrior leymah gbowee, 39,
led her country's women to defy warlords,
their use of child soldiers & rape as "a toy of war."
she inspired a huge group of chirstian & muslim women
to stage a 2002 sex strike, refusing to engage with their husbands
until the violence of liberia's 14+-year civil war was over.
gbowee is the executive director of the women-focused peace-building organization
women peace & security network africa, & a mother of five.

yemen's arab spring activist tawakkul karman, 32,
leads the human rights organization women journalists without chains.
she has braved prison many times to fight for
women's rights, media freedoms & political prisoners' release,
& is a leader in the uprising against yemen's longtime president.
she has not left sanaa's change square, the center of demonstrations,
for four months, for fear of assassination by the president's gunmen.
karman is the youngest peace prize winner ever,
the first arab woman ever to receive the nobel & a mother of three.

the 2011 laureates bump the number of women winners
to a whopping 15 in the 110-year history of the nobel peace prize.
they're the first women to receive the honor since 2004,
when kenyan ecologist wangari maathai won.

the american foreign press called the choice
to award the peace prize to the trio of women's rights activists
"a celebration of women's growing empowerment
globally & especially in deeply conservative & tribal communities."

united nations chief ban ki-moon called it
"a testament to the power of women's leadership ...
& the vital role women play in the advancement of
peace & security, development & human rights."

united states president barack obama said,
"the[se] three women are all not only examples of
remarkable determination & spirit, but also a reminder that
when we we empower women around the world,
everyone is better off.

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