The 2011 Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded to three women: Liberian president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, lawyer Leymah Gbowee and activist Tawakkul Karman.
The three winners distinguished themselves in working for peace. Johnson - Sirleaf, the first African woman president to be democratically elected in Liberia, worked hard for her country that was devastated by an unending civil war. The path to political and social conquests was a difficult one, the “iron Lady”, before winning leadership of her country, lived through a period of exile and was also imprisoned. Leymah Gbowee, a well-known pacifist militant, organised and mobilise the feminist movement in West Africa, helping to break down ethnic and religious divisions in the name of United female participation in the country’s political elections.
Finally, Tawakkol Karman, a Yemenite human rights activist and journalist, was a leading player starting from the “Arab spring” in the protest against the regime in her country, with a front-line role.
The decision of the Norwegian Committee to reward the three women seems particularly significant, recognising the role and identity of women in the construction of democracy and peace in conditions of extreme political and social difficulty.