Tawakkul Karman of Yemen, Liberian peace activist Leymah Gbowee and Liberia's President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. Photo: AP
Three amazing women have been awarded the Nobel Prize today as an official gesture towards all women who have fought peacefully for change in their countries. The 2011 prize is divided in three “equal parts” between 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.”
These women have met incredible challenges and gone beyond survival. Complacence and compliance does no favors to women in oppressive societies. While the Nobel committee hopes that these women will be symbols to others to rise up, it is a long and dangerous road in many countries for women to even speak out. But that doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t.
As Gbowee powerfully states, "I am a symbol of hope in my community, on the continent, in a place where there is little to be hopeful for…If you are a symbol of hope, you don't do it because you are expecting a reward. You do it because you are expected to do so and there are people that are relying a depending on you in your community.''
-Ashley E. Remer
Girl Museum Inc