On Friday, the Nobel Committee announced plans to award its annual Peace Prize to three women activists from Africa and the Arab world, declaring that women’s rights are an important component of world peace. The three women – Liberian peace activist Leymah Gbowee, Tawakkol Karman, a pro-democracy campaigner from Yemen, and President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf of Liberi, the first woman to be elected president of an African country – have championed efforts to end war and oppression in their respective countries and on the global scale. This is the first time that a woman has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 7 years, making the women award winners amongst only a handful of women who have received the award in its 110-year history.
Maintaining the Committee’s stance on international gender equality, Nobel Committee Chairman Thorbjoern Jagland stated, “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.”
According to <a href= “http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/10/07/us-nobel-peace-idUSTRE7963KM20111007” target= “_blank”<Reuters</a>, the women will be presented with their prize in Oslo, Norway on December 10, which is the 115th anniversary of the death of benefactor Alfred Nobel.
New York Times 10/7/11: Reuters 10/7/11