On Saturday, three women were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo, Norway. The three women – Liberian peace activist Leymah Gbowee, who led a women’s movement to protest the use of rape during Liberia’s civil war, 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.
Gbowee said in her remarks, “We must continue to unite in sisterhood to turn our tears into triumph, our despair into determination and our fear into fortitude. There is no time to rest until our world achieves wholeness and balance, where all men and women are considered equal and free.”
Karman added, “I have always believed that resistance against repression and violence is possible without relying on similar repression and violence. I have always believed that human civilization is the fruit of the effort of both women and men. So, when women are treated unjustly and are deprived of their natural right in this process, all social deficiencies and cultural illnesses will be unfolded, and in the end the whole community, men and women, will suffer.”
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.