CNN is reporting that three women’s rights activists have received the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize award. President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and activist Leymah Gbowee of Liberia, along with activist Tawakkul Karman of Yemen, were awarded the prize “for their nonviolent struggle for the safety of women and forwomen’s rights to full participation in peace-building work,” the Nobel committee said.
“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.”
Jan Egeland of Human Rights Watch told CNN that the Nobel committee had come up with a great prize that merged the efforts of Liberian women in achieving “momentous change” in their country with the vital role of women in the ongoing Arab Spring movement.
Rights group Amnesty International said the award would encourage women everywhere to continue fighting for their rights.
Johnson Sirleaf, Liberia’s 72-year-old president and Africa’s first elected female head of state, told CNN she was very excited about the prize, which she said was shared by all of her country’s people.
“I’m accepting this on behalf of the Liberian people, so credit goes to them,” she said. “For the past eight years, we have had peace, and each and every one of them has contributed to this peace.”
She said the peace that had ended 14 years of civil war should be attributed to the country’s women.
Congratulations to President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Africa’s first elected female head of state; Leymah Gbowee; and Tawakkul Karman for not only talking the talk but also walking the walk. The only thing more wonderful than when words and deeds match up is being acknowledged and honored for it.
Read more at CNN.