Nobel honours African, Arab women for peace
Liberians Johnson-Sirleaf, Gbowee and Yemeni Karman share Nobel prize as panel emphasises on equal rights for women being essential to peace.
October 8, 2011 8:22 by Reuters
…freedom and democracy and against injustice.”
Amnesty International secretary general Salil Shetty said: “This Nobel Peace Prize recognises what human rights activists have known for decades – that the promotion of equality is essential to building just and peaceful societies worldwide.”
Egyptian activist Asmaa Mahfouz, among a number of other Arab women protesters who had been widely tipped, said: “Giving it to Yemen means giving it to the Arab Spring, and this is an honour to all of us and to all Arab states.”
Karman, vowed to end Saleh’s rule, which began in 1978, just before she was born. “Our peaceful revolution will continue until we topple Saleh and establish a civilian state.”
The Peace Prize was widely welcomed as a shot in the arm for their movement by fellow protesters, even though many had begun to tire of what some complained was a “dictatorial” style of her own. “She’s a controversial figure for the protesters, but either way everyone is happy today,” said youth activist Atiaf al-Wazir. “This is a sign the world supports our peaceful protest movement, people feel the world is standing with us.”
Johnson-Sirleaf also has no shortage of critics, though the prize may have bolstered her chances of securing immediate re-election in Tuesday’s first round of the presidential vote, where she has been involved in a close three-way race.
Opponents have said she has not done enough to heal the West African nation’s divisions. She has admitted providing supplies and money to rebel leader and indicted war criminal Charles Taylor in the early years of the civil war, something her critics say undermines her image as a bringer of peace.
“She does not deserve it. She is a warmonger. She brought war on our country and spoiled the country,” Tubman told Reuters late on Friday during an election rally by his party.
Weah said: “Every Liberian is preparing for Madame Sirleaf to leave power and we will tell the world that we are tired of her inability to reconcile us and we will tell her that we are getting ready for her to leave power in October 11.”
The three Nobel laureates will be presented with the prize in Oslo on December 10, the 115th anniversary of the death of benefactor Alfred Nobel. (By Alastair Macdonald and Gwladys Fouche; Additonal reporting by Victoria Klesty, Walter Gibbs, John Acher, Joachim Dagenborg, Camilla Knudsen and Terje Solsvik in Oslo, Richard Valdmanis and Mark John in Dakar, Alphonso Toweh and Clair MacDougall in Monrovia, Kwasi Kpodo in Accra, Yasmine Saleh in Cairo, Andrew Hammond in Dubai, Erika Solomon, Mohammed Ghobari and Ahmed Jadallah in Sanaa, Michelle Nichols in New York, Samia Nakhoul in London, Clair MacDougall in Monrovia; Writing by Alastair Macdonald; Editing by Mark Heinrich)