Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and Leymah Gbowee of Liberia, and Tawakkul Karman of Yemen

7 October 2011

The Nobel Peace Prize for 2011 was awarded to three women peace builders, human rights defenders and women’s rights activists, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and Leymah Gbowee of Liberia, and Tawakkul Karman of Yemen. The announcement was made by the Nobel committee in the Norwegian capital, Oslo, on Friday, 7 October 2011.

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Liberia's president, is Africa's first elected female head of state, and a strong proponent of peace and women’s rights.

Leymah Gbowee is a founder and executive director of Women Peace and Security Network-Africa. She is the focus of the documentary film "Pray the Devil Back to Hell," which shows how Liberian women of different religious and ethnic origins mobilized and organized a non-violent movement that brought about the end to the 14-year civil war in Liberia

Tawakkul Karman of Yemen is chairperson of Women Journalists Without Chains (WJWC). She has played a leading role in the struggle for women's rights for democracy and peace.

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…. 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", the committee said.

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