3 share Nobel Peace Prize
President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of LIberia is Africa's first elected female head of state.
October 7th, 2011
05:48 AM ET

3 share Nobel Peace Prize

This year's Nobel Peace Prize is divided among three women, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and Leymah Gbowee of Liberia and Tawakkul Karman of Yemen, the Nobel committee in the Norwegian capital, Oslo, announced Friday.

The women were awarded the prize "for their nonviolent struggle for the safety of women and for women's rights to full participation in peace-building work," the 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."

Johnson Sirleaf, Liberia's 72-year-old president, is Africa's first elected female head of state. Her political resilience and tough reputation have earned her the nickname "Iron Lady."

She is campaigning for re-election.

Medina Wesseh, chairman of her re-election campaign, told CNN the award was greatly deserved "for all of her life's works and activities, for the women of Africa, for the Liberian people and for the world at large."

The Harvard graduate's commencement address in high school in 1972 sharply criticized the government, a rare defiance in Africa, especially at the time.

Johnson Sirleaf has also worked at the World Bank and the United Nations.

Gbowee, a founder and executive director of Women Peace and Security Network-Africa, was also a recipient in 2009 of the John F Kennedy Profile in Courage Award.

She was the focus of the documentary "Pray the Devil Back to Hell," which shows how women confronted Liberian President Charles Taylor with a demand for peace to end a bloody 14-year civil war.

She "mobilized and organized women across ethnic and religious dividing lines to bring an end to the long war in Liberia," the Nobel committee said.

And in Yemen, Karman has played a leading role in the struggle for women's rights for democracy and peace, the committee said.

The Norwegian Nobel Committee said it hoped that the prize will help end suppression of women in many countries and to "realize the great potential for democracy and peace that women can represent."

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Filed under: Nobel • World
soundoff (54 Responses)
  1. Spaceman

    Has to be Iron Lady 2

    October 7, 2011 at 6:12 am | Report abuse |
  2. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    There's relative merit in winning any prize.
    We still have to be sure that women continue to be on a level field. The way women and guys are developing in this country, if reports are correct, women will outstrip my side completely before long.
    Love equal opportunity stuff.

    October 7, 2011 at 6:25 am | Report abuse |
  3. leeintulsa

    You go, girls

    October 7, 2011 at 7:53 am | Report abuse |
  4. s kel

    All you racist ignorant cracks on here. What is it with you tea trash hatefull trolls saying with this new saying that pres.Obama kills all over the world . When sick shammey and and dubba redneck bushy started wars that killed hundreds of thousands for profit.

    October 7, 2011 at 8:13 am | Report abuse |
    • Ya No

      s kel: You must scare the kids in the neighborhood half out of their wits......and bore the rest of us to tears.

      October 7, 2011 at 10:01 am | Report abuse |
  5. s kel

    i would love to

    October 7, 2011 at 8:14 am | Report abuse |
  6. s kel

    shoot all of you

    October 7, 2011 at 8:15 am | Report abuse |
  7. JennyMK89

    If you take a look at who has won the Nobel Peace Prize in the past, you can see that it has been awarded to men year after year, some who we might question as even deserving of the prize at all. It is not only surprising, then, but absolutely inspiring to see such strong women representing both Liberia and Yemen in their efforts as winners of the prize. For more on the award winners, check out Democracy Now!'s amazing coverage here: http://www.democracynow.org

    October 7, 2011 at 8:49 am | Report abuse |
  8. s kel

    to the sick fake thing calling themselfs god.

    October 7, 2011 at 9:04 am | Report abuse |
  9. s kel

    go to hell

    October 7, 2011 at 9:04 am | Report abuse |
  10. Jackson Zleh Towah

    "Level Monrovia the capital of Liberia and we will build it after the war; the child soldiers did just what President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf requested" by destroying Liberia. I hope that the Norwegian Nobel Prize Committee will also considered Anders Behring Breivik the man responsible for the killing of 69 folks at the youth camp in Utoya, Norway in the future for the prize

    October 7, 2011 at 12:09 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Bimbo the Birthday Clown

    No. Don't make them share it. They should fight each other to the death to determine the winner.

    October 7, 2011 at 12:44 pm | Report abuse |
  12. banasy©

    Congratulations to these three amazing women.
    While others talked the talk, these women walked the walk.

    @Ya No:

    You have the same right to post irelevant comments as s kel.
    And you have.

    October 7, 2011 at 1:35 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Mad Ole Lady

    Congrats Ladies!!!!

    October 7, 2011 at 8:18 pm | Report abuse |


    October 8, 2011 at 12:10 am | Report abuse |
  15. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    The frustrated yapping of a very small dog is one of the silliest but most annoying noises that can interrupt one's peace.

    October 8, 2011 at 7:06 am | Report abuse |
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