Friday, October 7, 2011

Congratulations to 2011 Nobel Peace Prize Winners, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and Leymah Gbowee

The Nobel Peace Prize 2011 was awarded jointly to Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Leymah Gbowee and Tawakkul Karman "for their non-violent struggle for the safety of women and for women's rights to full participation in peace-building work".

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, 73, is Africa's first democratically elected female president(Liberia). Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is the 24th and current President of Liberia. She served as Minister of Finance under President William Tolbert from 1979 until the 1980 coup d'├ętat, after which she left Liberia and held senior positions at various financial institutions. She placed a very distant second in the 1997 presidential election. Later, she was elected President in the 2005 presidential election and took office on 16 January 2006 as the first and currently the only elected female head of state in Africa.  Read more...

Leymah Roberta Gbowee, 39, is an African peace activist responsible for leading a women's peace movement that brought an end to the Second Liberian Civil War in 2003. This led to the election of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf in Liberia, the first African nation with a female president.




An article on Gbowee in O-The Oprah Magazine painted this backdrop:
"The Liberian civil war, which lasted from 1989 to 2003 with only brief interruptions, was the result of economic inequality, a struggle to control natural resources, and deep-rooted rivalries among various ethnic groups, including the descendants of the freed American slaves who founded the country in 1847. The war involved the cynical use of child soldiers, armed with lightweight Kalashnikovs, against the country's civilian population. At the center of it all was Charles Taylor, the ruthless warlord who initiated the first fighting and would eventually serve as Liberian president until he was forced into exile in 2003."
Read more...


Read the press release here:
http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/peace/laureates/2011/


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