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Nobel Peace Prize

October 7, 2011 by staff 

Nobel Peace PrizeNobel Peace Prize, Three women who have fought for peace and democracy in Liberia and Yemen have been jointly awarded this year’s Nobel Peace Prize, in a decision that recognizes the contributions of women to both the Arab spring of peace and post- conflict in Africa.

The president of Liberia, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and Leymah Gbowee, a social worker turned peace advocate a country, will share the 10m kronor (£ 950,000) prize with tawakkul Karman, journalist and activist for democracy in Yemen has been a prominent figure in protests against the Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh in recent months.

The Nobel committee said the three had been chosen “for her nonviolent struggle for women’s safety and rights of women to participate fully in the work of peace.”

He said: “We can not achieve lasting peace and democracy in the world unless women get the same opportunities as men to influence events at all levels of society.”

The three recipients are the first women to receive the award since 2004, when the committee of honor Wangari Muta Maathai, the environmentalist from Kenya who died last month. He has won 15 women in its 110 year history.

The announcement caused some controversy in Liberia, where Sirleaf will seek a second term in Tuesday’s election in a close race. Sirleaf, 72, a Harvard-educated economist, was the first democratically elected female African president in 2005, two years after decades of civil war. Seen as a reformer and peacemaker, when he took power, declared a policy of zero tolerance against corruption and has made education free and compulsory for all children age.

But it has been criticized for running for a second term despite having promised to serve one. In 2009, apologized for having financially supported former President Charles Taylor in late 1980, saying that “when the true nature of Taylor’s intentions became known, there was no more passionate or strong opponent critical of him in a democratic process “. Taylor is awaiting the verdict of a war crimes trial in The Hague.

Supporters of opposition candidates reacted angrily at a meeting outside of Monrovia, after the award was announced. But Sirleaf was supported by fellow Nobel Peace Desmond Tutu, who said she deserves the award “many times”, adding: “. She brought stability to a place that is going to hell.”

Gbowee, 39, led a popular movement of women in the 2000s to protest the use of rape and child soldiers in 14 years of civil war in Liberia. In 2003 peace talks that she and hundreds of women dressed in white, surrounded by the room where the discussions were being held, refusing to let go until the delegates who had signed the treaty.

He also directed a “sex strike” among women in the country, encouraging them to withhold sex from their husbands until the men had done everything possible to achieve peace. His campaign was documented in an award-winning 2008 documentary Pray the Devil Back to Hell.

The committee said it had “mobilized and organized through religious and ethnic dividing lines to end the prolonged war in Liberia, and to ensure the participation of women in elections.”

Activists in Yemen Karman described as the “symbol of our revolution” and said the award had “revitalized” the protest movement there. The mother of 32 years of age, three established human rights group Women Journalists Without Chains and has been a prominent figure in the anti-Saleh.

“After months of being forgotten by the international community, this award is a great way to show international solidarity with the people of Yemen,” Al-Wazir Atiaf, a Yemeni-American blogger and activist based in the capital, Sana ‘a. “While not all necessarily agree with tawakkul role in today’s protest movement, its role since 2007 in the fight against tyranny and injustice, promote freedom of expression and the rights of women is undeniable . After a struggle of nine years long months, this award will re-energized, and reaffirms that peaceful resistance will pay off. ”

Some of the tactics of Karman in the protest have caused controversy, as well as their links with the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood. However, the Norwegian Nobel committee chairman, Thorbjorn Jagland, Karman said should not be excluded because of her ties to a group, “which in the West is perceived as a threat to democracy.” “There are many signs that this type of movement can be an important part of the solution,” he told The Associated Press.

Jagland said it was difficult to choose among the many worthy activists who participated in the revolts of the Arab spring. “It was not easy for us to choose a selection of one of Egypt or Tunisia, for there were many, and would not say it was more important than others.” Karman noted that it had “became active well before the revolution took place in Tunisia and Egypt. It was a very courageous woman in Yemen since a long time.”

Asked about the awarding of a prize to the days before an election Sirleaf, Jagland said: “We can not look at the internal consideration We have to look at the will of Alfred Nobel, who says that the prize should go to the person who has done for peace. in the world. “

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