WEDO extends our congratulations to the three 2011 Nobel Peace Prize Winners: Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Liberian Leymah Gbowee, and Tawakkul Karman of Yemen. The three women were awarded the prize for their “non-violent struggle for the safety of women and for women’s rights to full participation in peace-building work.” Sirleaf is Africa’s first female elected head of state, Gbowee is a peace activist, and Karman is a leading figure in Yemen’s pro-democracy movement.
In particular, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia has been a hugely important advocate and ally in WEDO’s work on gender and climate change. In March 2009, President Johnson-Sirleaf alongside President Tarja Halonen of Finland convened the International Colloquium on Women’s Leadership in Monrovia, Liberia. The purpose of the Colloquium was to strengthen women’s leadership by networking and sharing information and experiences about the most challenging issues facing women globally, with a focus on Africa in particular. One of the main themes of the Colloquium concerned the relationship between climate change and gender. More than a hundred participants discussed the gender dimensions of climate change and what women can do in order to influence mitigation and adaption to this rising global threat.
Congratulations to the three amazing recipients of the Nobel Peace Prize and to all people who are working for gender equality and human rights!