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Women awarded for peace

On Oct. 7 the Norwegian Nobel Committee announced the first-ever shared Nobel Peace Prize awarded to three women. Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Liberian activist Leymah Gbowee, and Yemeni activist Tawakkul Karman are this year’s winners.

The committee in Oslo said the women were chosen for their nonviolent struggle in obtaining women’s rights and peace in their nations.

This award not only demonstrates the power of peace, but the power women have rightly obtained through promoting peace.

Johnson Sirleaf accepted her portion of the award on behalf of the Liberian people. She believes that every person in Liberia contributed to the peace that she is being recognized for.

Johnson Sirleaf was the first female to be elected for president in 2006. Her dedication to maintaining peace in a country that for so long suffered under civil war has earned her the title “Iron Lady.”

Gbowee has also worked in Liberia to help end the civil war by peacefully organizing women and encouraging them to vote.

Gbowee is founder and executive director of Women Peace and Security Network in Africa where she calls for change with a nonviolent campaign.

The third recipient of the award, Karman, is the first Arab woman to win and among the youngest to hold the title at 32.

“This is a victory for peace in the Arab world, a victory for the peaceful revolution in Yemen,” Karman said in an interview with CNN.

Karman is a prodemocracy campaigner and president of the organization of Women Journalists without Chains, which works toward press freedom.

Amnesty International, said that with these three leading women winning the award it will encourage women of all backgrounds and beliefs to fight for a change.

“It shows that if you work hard enough, maybe the world will listen,” Atiaf Alwazir, a Yemeni online activist, wrote. “I think the best thing about this is that it’s for everybody.”

Following the nonviolent stances of Martin Luther King Jr. and Mahatma Gandhi, Johnson Sirleaf, Gbowee and Karman prove that peaceful demonstrations and a conviction of what is just still remains in present times.

These women demonstrate that with persistence, passion and care, any injustice can be met and changed for the greater good.

With the encouraging kindness of a mother and the unyielding strength of a warrior Johnson Sirleaf, Gbowee and Karman will take the world by the hand and guide us into the future.

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