Musings: Women & Peace…
“Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.” Harriet Tubman
I was thrilled when I heard the news about the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize winners because no women had won this prize since 2004 when the late Wangari Maathai, founder of the Green Belt movement in Kenya, won it. Historically, women have always participated in peace movements but our contributions have not always been given center stage or the accolades that men receive. Even with the Nobel Peace Prize, throughout its long and illustrious history, only 14 of the 121 Nobel awardees have been female.
The three 2011 recipients: Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, the President of Liberia since 2006, Leymah Gbowee, author of Mighty Be Our Powers and leader in the Liberian Women’s peace movement featured in the documentary – Pray The Devil Back to Hell, and Tawakkul Karman, journalist and Chairwoman of Women Journalists Without Chains (a human rights group), were jointly awarded the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize for their efforts at building peace in Liberia and Yemen. This is a step forward in recognizing the efforts women make towards achieving women’s right, gender equity, economic/political female leadership and peace. As well as our efforts at ending gender violence globally. The accolades are fantastic and my wish is that more women leaders are celebrated and encouraged globally. More Below.
“We cannot achieve lasting peace in the world unless women receive the same opportunities as men to influence developments at all levels of society.” Thorbjoen Jagland, Nobel Prize Committee Chairman
Women are important influencers in the household, and more of us need to be actively engaged in influencing peaceful change globally; particularly in war torn areas. As a way to focus on the efforts of women in places of conflict around the world, PBS will begin airing a powerful documentary series: Women, War & Peace next week… each week, the series will tackle a specific area in the world and present in-depth information on conflicts women have faced/continue to face. As the site suggests, “Women, War & Peace spotlights the stories of women in conflict zones from Bosnia to Afghanistan and Colombia to Liberia, placing women at the center of an urgent dialogue about conflict and security, and reframing our understanding of modern warfare.”
I encourage you to watch the series and learn more about the role women play globally. Below is more information on the series:
October 11 – I Came to Testify: 16 women imprisoned by Serb-led forces in the Bosnian town of Foca broke history’s great silence – and took the witness stand in an international court of law.
October 18 – Pray the Devil Back to Hell: In a non-violent movement, Liberian women took a stand against dictator Charles Taylor to put a stop to the brutal civil
October 25 – Peace Unveiled: Three women in Afghanistan risk their lives to take a stand for women’s rights
November 1 – The War We Are Living: Two Afro-Colombian women in Cauca, a mountainous region in Colombia’s Pacific southwest, bravely stand against a violent struggle for land.
November 8 – War Redefined: A closer look and challenge of the notion that war and peace are men’s domain – interviews with leading thinkers.
“When you find peace within yourself, you become the kind of person who can live at peace with others.” Peace Pilgrim
A few good things that will/might come out of the recent Nobel Peace Prize award include shining a spotlight on the role women play in peacekeeping efforts, showcasing the struggles fought globally against gender violence, advocating the need for greater female participation in influencing development, and taking another look at female conditions in countries that don’t regularly make the evening news. It’s about time… What are your thoughts? What did you think of the 2011 Nobel Prize awardees? Who would you have picked as a recipient? Do you think women get unequal treatment? Do share? Thank you!
This post was partly inspired by a prompt from WP Daily Post: Who do you know that deserves a peace prize?
For More: Women’s Lives & Issues
Positive Motivation Tip: Leadership begins with thoughtful action that empowers and changes lives. Seek the leader within…
- 2011 Nobel Peace Prize (parquealuche.wordpress.com)
- 2011 Nobel Peace Prize Winners: Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Leymah Gbowee, Tawakkul Karman (VIDEO) (blippitt.com)
- President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf Wins 2011 Nobel Peace Prize (theroot.com)
- US Secretary-General’ Statement on the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize (appablog.wordpress.com)
- Women’s Rights Pioneers Win Nobel Peace Prize (npr.org)
- 2011 Nobel Peace Prize goes to Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Leymah Gbowee and Tawakkul Karman (100gf.wordpress.com)
- Nobel Peace Prize Winners President Ellen Johnson-sirleaf, Leymah Ghowee & Tawakul Karman (binsidetv.net)