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BY SARAH NG ANCHOR CHRSITINA HARTMAN Three women were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize Friday. Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf and Leymah Gbowee of Liberia and Tawakkul Karman of Yemen will share the award. KOVR reports. “Their first democratically elected female president will share the prize of another Africa peace activist and a woman that has worked for democracy and peace in Yemen. All three winners were awarded for their efforts to protect women from violence and help them gain rights.” Johnson-Sirleaf ran for president of Liberia in 2005 against footballer-turned-politician George Weah and won in a run-off election. Reporters for McClatchy say, her win symbolized more than just democracy -- it paved the way for equal opportunity for women in Liberia. “Sirleaf’s landmark election in 2005 after Liberia's brutal 14-year civil war demonstrated to Africa's growing number of female legislators, Cabinet ministers and other politicians that the top offices in their countries were no longer marked ‘Men Only.’” Ms. Gbowee, a compatriot of Johnson-Sirleaf, fought to defend women and girls who were raped by soldiers during the country’s long civil war. A CNN correspondent gives us her background. “She used to be a trauma counsellor and she was instrumental in pushing for pro-peace for activists to stop the second civil war in Liberia, bravely fought against in a way the tyranny of Charles Taylor’s time and help pave the way for democratic elections.” The Los Angeles Times reports on one of Gbowee’s attention-grabbing tactics during the war. “During the civil war, Gbowee organized a ‘sex strike’ to urge men to stop fighting. She told National Public Radio in 2009: ‘We didn't have the power to go to peace talks, so we just thought, what else do we have to lose? Our bodies are their battlefield.’” And Ms. Karman, founder of Women Journalist without Chains, was one of the main individuals who protested against the authoritarian government in Yemen long before Arab Spring. (The New York Times) “...Ms. Karman has been widely known as a vocal opponent of the pro-American regime of Mr. Saleh since 2007 … Her brief arrest by the authorities in January incensed many people and is credited by some analysts in Yemen with starting the widespread protests that have convulsed the impoverished land since.” In Yemen, Karman is sometimes called “The Mother of Revolution.” Her inclusion in the award is seen as a nod by the Nobel committee to the Arab Spring uprisings.
10 Oct 2011
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