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Published on October 7th, 2011 | by Joe Hinds
Image © [caption id="attachment_3957" align="alignleft" width="276" caption="Nobel Peace Prize Winners; Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Leymah Gbowee and Tawakul Karman © Alex Wong/Getty, Frederick M Brown/Getty, Khaled Abdullah/Reuters"][/caption] The Nobel Peace Prize was today announced to be split between women's rights campaigners; Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Leymah Gbowee and Tawakul Karman in acknowledgement for their efforts 'to help bring an end to the suppression of women'. In the announcement at 10.0am this morning the Norwegian Nobel Committee honoured the women for their 'non-violent struggle for the safety of women and for women's rights to full participation in peace-building work'. Here we look at the women whose work has today been recognised. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is the current president of Liberia and became the first elected female Head of State in Africa when she took office in 2006 and her  contributions since have been substantial. Johnson-Sirleaf has been accredited with ensuring crucial debt relief within Liberia and more than quadrupled  the national budget which raised substantial questions regarding previous corruption within the country. Alongside this she has been instrumental in investigating and addressing civil war crimes which tore Liberia apart, with school enrolment for girls also up by almost 40% since she took office. Leymah Gbowee, a prominent Liberian Peace Activist, has been widely acknowledged as playing a pivot role in the organising the Peace Movement which brought an end to the Second Liberian Civil War in 2003. The 'Women of Liberia Mass Action For Peace' movement, organised solely by Gbowee, mobilised thousands of women and staged several silent and non-violent protests which not only led to peace in Liberia but also played a pivotal role in paving the way for Johnson-Sirleaf's election in 2006. The third woman to receive the joint award was that of Tawakul Karman, an outspoken journalist and Human Rights Activist from Yemen. She has played a leading role in the struggle for women's rights, peace and democracy in Yemen, both before and during the 'Arab Spring' and can be seen leading chants from a demonstraion in June here. Upon receiving the news of her acknowledgement Karman preceded to 'give the prize to the youth of revolution in Yemen and the Yemeni people'. The choice of winners for this years Nobel Peace Prize may have come as a surprise choice to many, with Bradley Manning topping a readers choice poll on the guardian, whilst others showed strong support for Julian Assange to receive recognition. However, this acknowledgement should serve as another reminder of the work being done by so many women throughout Africa and the Middle East as they strive to fight against the largely patriarchal and male dominated political and social structures that so often still dominate today.  

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The Three Women That Split This Years Nobel Peace Prize

Nobel Peace Prize Winners; Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Leymah Gbowee and Tawakul Karman © Alex Wong/Getty, Frederick M Brown/Getty, Khaled Abdullah/Reuters

The Nobel Peace Prize was today announced to be split between women’s rights campaigners; Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Leymah Gbowee and Tawakul Karman in acknowledgement for their efforts ‘to help bring an end to the suppression of women‘. In the announcement at 10.0am this morning the Norwegian Nobel Committee honoured the women for their ‘non-violent struggle for the safety of women and for women’s rights to full participation in peace-building work‘. Here we look at the women whose work has today been recognised.

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is the current president of Liberia and became the first elected female Head of State in Africa when she took office in 2006 and her  contributions since have been substantial. Johnson-Sirleaf has been accredited with ensuring crucial debt relief within Liberia and more than quadrupled  the national budget which raised substantial questions regarding previous corruption within the country. Alongside this she has been instrumental in investigating and addressing civil war crimes which tore Liberia apart, with school enrolment for girls also up by almost 40% since she took office.

Leymah Gbowee, a prominent Liberian Peace Activist, has been widely acknowledged as playing a pivot role in the organising the Peace Movement which brought an end to the Second Liberian Civil War in 2003. The ‘Women of Liberia Mass Action For Peace‘ movement, organised solely by Gbowee, mobilised thousands of women and staged several silent and non-violent protests which not only led to peace in Liberia but also played a pivotal role in paving the way for Johnson-Sirleaf’s election in 2006.

The third woman to receive the joint award was that of Tawakul Karman, an outspoken journalist and Human Rights Activist from Yemen. She has played a leading role in the struggle for women’s rights, peace and democracy in Yemen, both before and during the ‘Arab Spring’ and can be seen leading chants from a demonstraion in June here. Upon receiving the news of her acknowledgement Karman preceded to ‘give the prize to the youth of revolution in Yemen and the Yemeni people’.

The choice of winners for this years Nobel Peace Prize may have come as a surprise choice to many, with Bradley Manning topping a readers choice poll on the guardian, whilst others showed strong support for Julian Assange to receive recognition. However, this acknowledgement should serve as another reminder of the work being done by so many women throughout Africa and the Middle East as they strive to fight against the largely patriarchal and male dominated political and social structures that so often still dominate today.

 

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