what, they weren't giving it a second time to Obama? Travesty!
A politician, peace activist and journalist are the first female winners of Nobel's top award for seven years
Nobel peace prize winner and Liberian president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf (pictured) shares the award with peace activist Leymah Gbowee and journalist Tawakkul Karman. Photograph: Issouf Sanogo/AFP
Three women who have campaigned for peace and democracy in Liberia and Yemen have been jointly awarded this year's Nobel peace prize, in a decision that acknowledges women's contributions both to the Arab spring and to post-conflict peacemaking in Africa.
The Liberian president, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, and Leymah Gbowee, a social worker turned peace campaigner from the same country, will share the 10m kronor (£950,000) prize with Tawakkul Karman, a journalist and pro-democracy activist in Yemen who has been a leading figure in the protests against the Yemeni president, Ali Abdullah Saleh, in recent months.
The Nobel committee said the three had been chosen "for their non-violent struggle for the safety of women and for women's rights to full participation in peace-building work".
It said: "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 three recipients are the first women to be awarded the prize since 2004, when the committee honoured Wangari Muta Maathai, the Kenyan environmentalist who died last month. It has been won by 15 women in its 110-year history.
The announcement provoked some controversy in Liberia, where Sirleaf will seek a second term in elections on Tuesday in a hotly contested race. Sirleaf, 72, a Harvard-trained economist, became Africa's first democratically elected female president in 2005, two years after decades of civil war ended. Seen as a reformer and peacemaker when she took office, she declared a zero-tolerance policy against corruption and has made education compulsory and free for all primary-age children.
But she has been criticised for running for a second term despite having promised to serve only one. In 2009, she apologised for having financially supported former president Charles Taylor in the late 1980s, saying "when the true nature of Mr Taylor's intentions became known, there was no more impassioned critic or strong opponent to him in a democratic process". Taylor is currently awaiting the verdict of a war crimes trial in the Hague.
Supporters of opposition candidates reacted angrily at a rally outside Monrovia, the Liberian capital, after the prize was announced. But Sirleaf received an endorsement from fellowNobel peace laureate Desmond Tutu, who said she deserves the prize "many times over", adding: "She's brought stability to a place that was going to hell." .
Gbowee, 39, led a grassroots movement of women in the early 2000s to protest against the use of rape and child soldiers in Liberia's 14-year civil war. During the 2003 peace talks she and hundreds of women, dressed in white, surrounded the hall where the discussions were being held, refusing to let delegates leave until they had signed the treaty.
She also led a "sex strike" among the country's women, encouraging them to withhold sex from their husbands until the men had done all they could to bring about peace. Her campaign was documented in an award-winning 2008 documentary Pray the Devil Back to Hell.
The committee said she had "mobilised and organised women across ethnic and religious dividing lines to bring an end to the long war in Liberia, and to ensure women's participation in elections".
Campaigners in Yemen described Karman, 32, as the "symbol of our revolution" and said her award had "re-energised" the protest movement there. The mother of three founded the human rights group Women Journalists without Chains and has been a prominent figure in the anti-Saleh protests.
"After months of feeling neglected by the international community, this award is a great way to show international solidarity with the people of Yemen," said Atiaf Al-Wazir, a Yemeni-American blogger and activist based in the capital, Sana'a. "While not everyone necessarily agrees with Tawakkul's role in the protest movement today, her role since 2007 in the struggle against tyranny and injustice, promoting freedom of speech and women's rights is undisputed. After a long nine-month struggle, this award re-energizes us, and reaffirms that peaceful resistance will pay off."
Some of Karman's tactics in protesting have provoked controversy, as have her links to the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood. But the Norwegian Nobel committee chairman, Thorbjorn Jagland, said Karman should not be excluded because of ties to a group "which in the west is perceived as a threat to democracy". "There are many signals that that kind of movement can be an important part of the solution," he told the Associated Press.
Jagland said it was difficult to choose from the many worthy activists who participated in the Arab spring revolts. "It was not easy for us to pick one from Egypt or pick one from Tunisia, because there were so many, and we did not want to say that one was more important than the others." He noted that Karman had "started her activism long before the revolution took place in Tunisia and Egypt. She has been a very courageous woman in Yemen for quite a long time."
Asked about awarding a prize to Sirleaf days before an election, Jagland said: "We cannot look to that domestic consideration. We have to look at Alfred Nobel's will, which says that the prize should go to the person that has done the most for peace in the world."
The Foreign Secretary, William Hague, described the three winners as "tireless advocates for peace" who had "unstintingly promoted the safety of women and women's rights through non-violent struggle".
"The values of democracy and freedom demand equality for all. These three women are a clear example of what can be done to change the world for the better," he added.
Nobel peace prize given to only 12 women in 110 years. Now it's 15 | World news | The Guardian
what, they weren't giving it a second time to Obama? Travesty!
I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you.
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