NEW YORK (TrustLaw) Oct. 7—The award of the Nobel Peace Prize for 2011 to three courageous women sparked an outpouring of praise and gratification from global leaders and prominent supporters of women’s rights Friday, many of whom described the prize as an important acknowledgement of women’s key role in peace-building.
Here is reaction to the news from a range of leaders, advocates, academics and others concerned with women’s rights:
U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON:
The "unflinching courage, strength and leadership of these women to build peace, advance reconciliation and defend the rights of fellow citizens in their own countries provide inspiration for women's rights and human progress everywhere."
MICHELLE BACHELET, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, UN WOMEN:
“This year’s Nobel Peace Prize is an important acknowledgement of what women have been demanding for years: the equal involvement of women in all peace, security and democracy decisions. Women’s involvement is central for achieving lasting peace and stability and yet, too often, they are excluded from the negotiating table. UN Women stands beside women around the world who are demanding that their voices be heard and they have equal participation in decision-making.”
MARTTI AHTISAARI, FORMER PRESIDENT OF FINLAND, 2008 NOBEL PEACE LAUREATE AND MEMBER OF THE ELDERS:
“All three women deserve the recognition for their accomplishments in the field of women’s rights. It is of great importance to emphasise the need for women’s participation in conflict resolution and peace processes.”
KENNETH ROTH, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH:
“This is a tribute to all women whose tireless work and brave protests helped bring about peace and democracy, and to those women who are still fighting for it today. The job is still at best only half done, and the world needs to support efforts to build societies based on respect for human rights of all. We should not forget those women who are still suffering in conflicts today, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, in Cote d’Ivoire, Afghanistan and elsewhere.”
GRO BRUNDTLAND, FORMER PRIME MINISTER OF NORWAY AND MEMBER OF THE ELDERS:
“Women, human rights, peace and democracy, they are all there! We should really applaud this decision.”
GRACA MACHEL, FORMER EDUCATION MINISTER OF MOZAMBIQUE AND MEMBER OF THE ELDERS:
“Awarding the Nobel Peace Prize to three outstanding women from Liberia and Yemen is a recognition that while women pay the highest price in conflicts – they are equally leaders in peace-making and rebuilding their nations.”
MARY ROBINSON, FORMER IRISH PRESIDENT, FORMER UN HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR HUMAN RIGHTS AND A MEMBER OF THE ELDERS:
“Today’s announcement by the Nobel Peace Prize committee is a great celebration of women’s leadership. I am delighted that the Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded to three women who have led with such courage and determination to address injustices in their homelands. What has been acknowledged by this award is the leadership of women who insisted on coming out of conflict into peace; who insisted on their right to be heard. Their achievements show us how women in leadership roles can be powerful agents of change.”
SARA A. LULO, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF CORNELL LAW SCHOOL’S AVON GLOBAL CENTER FOR WOMEN AND JUSTICE:
“The recognition of three women as recipients of the Nobel Peace Prize is exciting indeed. It adds to the momentum of advancing women’s rights on a global scale, and underscores the role that women play in securing peace, democracy and security. That “three women” winning the Prize this year is such a landmark event speaks volumes about the longstanding under-recognition of women’s efforts, particularly in the international arena.”
SARAH DEGNAN KAMBOU, PRESIDENT, INTERNATIONAL CENTER FOR RESEARCH ON WOMEN:
“Today the Nobel Committee recognized the role of women in building peace, stability and prosperity. These three visionaries demonstrate that women can and should be part of the solutions to our global challenges. The world is awakening to the millions of girls and women who have the potential to transform their societies.”
CAROL YOST, DIRECTOR, WOMEN’S EMPOWERMENT PROGRAM, THE ASIA FOUNDATION:
“The awarding of the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize to three women leaders – two from Liberia and one from Yemen – is important recognition of the vital role women have in securing peace and ensuring respect for human rights across the globe. These three awardees have been crucial in bringing heightened security and stability to Liberia and highly influential in the historic Arab Spring movement. These brave women provide inspiration to women around the world still living in conflict areas, and indeed to all women. Across Asia, from Mindanao to Afghanistan, women must be full participants in peace processes so that political settlements bring just peace --where women are guaranteed equal rights and opportunities in all spheres. We hope that year’s Nobel Peace Prize will bring further momentum and support to the struggle of women around the globe to claim their rights.”
ZAINAB SALBI, FOUNDER, WOMEN FOR WOMEN INTERNATIONAL:
"Today is a major day in acknowledging and honoring women who have brought real peace through their courage to speak truth to power and doing so with integrity and compassion. The world is finally acknowledging the role of women in bringing real peace making beyond the signing of peace agreements and into addressing real and practical concerns of the citizens of their countries. Congratulations not only to the Nobel Peace Prize recipients but also to all women and to the world."