Peace for women is world peace

The 2011 Nobel Peace Prize today was awarded to 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 are three of now 15 women to have won the award in its 110-year history and the first to win for work centered largely around the female 50 percent of the world population.

A brief note (so brief as not to do these women justice): Johnson Sirleaf is the president of Liberia and the first woman ever to be elected president of an African nation. Gbowee has brought women together across ethnic and religious lines under Women of Liberia Mass Action for Peace. Karman is a longtime Yemeni activist and chair of human rights group Women Journalists Without Chains; at the time the award was announced, she was sitting in her protest tent in the middle of Sanaa, as she has been for the past eight months.

In acknowledging these three women, the Nobel committee also acknowledges something that seems to escape a lot of notice in global activism: Advancing women’s issues is advancing world peace–not because freedom and democracy in Liberia and Yemen benefit men as well as women, but because half the world is made up of women. Women’s concerns are global concerns. Johnson Sirleaf, Gbowee, Karman, and the women who take risks to support their causes aren’t significant because they support women but because they take action to promote peace through avenues and populations that many other activists and leaders have neglected. And as I am far from qualified to speak about any of this, I’ll give over to Leymah Gbowee instead.

[The message I hope to send is t]hat the other 50 percent of the world–the women of the world–that their skills, talents, and intelligence should be utilized. And I think this message is a resounding agreement to all of our advocacies over the years. That truly women have a place, truly women have a face, and truly the world has not been functioning well without the input, in every sphere, of women.

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22 Responses to Peace for women is world peace

  1. Véronique says:

    I am overjoyed that these three women won the Nobel Peace Prize! The Nobel committee has sometimes made some curious choices, but with this selection I think they have redeemed themselves.

  2. Politicalguineapig says:

    I’ve always had mixed feelings about the Peace Prize. On the one hand, they do select people who have made genunine contributions. Though last year-srsly? I support Obama as much as anyone, but a lot of good people got shafted. And on the other hand, I feel it feeds into a utopian dream. So to sum up: good for Johnson Sirleaf, Gbowee, and Karman, but I think this prize needs to be taken with several kilograms of salt.

  3. Nancy Green says:

    Rhode Island is home to 15,000 Liberian immigrants and President Sirleaf Johnson visited here this May. Further proof that Rhode Island is the center of the universe.

  4. Rich says:

    I fully agree with this, especially the idea that peace for women equates with WORLD PEACE! It’s a radical idea that most men don’t want to acknowledge. I first came to this conclusion after reading “Infidel” by Ayaan Hirsi Ali. If you haven’t read it I would highly recommend it!

  5. Politicalguineapig says:

    Rich: I tried to read Infidel, but I found it to be horribly disjointed. And Hirsi Ali’s choice of allies shows a lot of poor taste. I also don’t think that ‘peace’ can be achieved when women aren’t oppressed. I think peace just isn’t something people are wired for, no matter their gender.

  6. Gary Templeton says:

    Yes I agree with Rich that peace for women equates with world peace. As an MRA who agrees with aspects of feminism in terms of equality for all humanity, you cannot truly have world peace while or the other genders are oppressed.
    Having women form an African country win the Peace prize is a step in the right direction.
    Warren Farrell in his book “The myth of Male power” believes not in which gender is wrong or right but in a “gender transition” movement whereby both genders transcend traditional roles and work together for world peace. Although, I realize some feminist
    movements have been doing this for a long time, however there is a current MRA movement called “The Mankind Project” that is pushing for global peace as well.

  7. AndersH says:

    Politicalguineapig:
    I’ve always had mixed feelings about the Peace Prize. On the one hand, they do select people who have made genunine contributions. Though last year-srsly? I support Obama as much as anyone, but a lot of good people got shafted. And on the other hand, I feel it feeds into a utopian dream.So to sum up: good for Johnson Sirleaf, Gbowee, and Karman, but I think this prize needs to be taken with several kilograms of salt.

    Last year was actually Liu Xiaobo:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liu_Xiaobo
    Less said about the year before that the better.

  8. Politicalguineapig says:

    And would someone please take off the spam on #4?

  9. Politicalguineapig says:

    Anders: Thank you. I somehow misplaced ’09 in my mental database. Liu Xiaobo deserved it, though I thought the Nobel comittee was using the Peace Prize as a way to prod the Chinese government.

  10. llama says:

    Mamy Blue:
    Peace for the world a href=”http://www.missathana.com” rel=”nofollow”>courtesans</a.

    Are you seriously advertising these services here?

  11. Matthew Jameson says:

    Rich:
    I fully agree with this, especially the idea that peace for women equates with WORLD PEACE!It’s a radical idea that most men don’t want to acknowledge.I first came to this conclusion after reading “Infidel” by Ayaan Hirsi Ali.If you haven’t read it I would highly recommend it!

    What is the evidence that “most men” don’t acknowledge this? Is there evidence that women acknowledge this? If you are going to knock men in this way, you should be able to answer at least question 1, if not question 2.

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  13. Politicalguineapig says:

    Is there evidence that women acknowledge this?
    I don’t. I’m not most women either: I despise pacifism, and try to be aggressive. I think striving for peace is a worthy goal, but I also think it’s not very realistic, just because humans aren’t wired that way.

  14. AndersH says:

    Politicalguineapig, there are (or at least have been) self-styled militant pacifists, who have fought hard and uncompromisingly for the cause of peace between nations.

  15. samanthab says:

    Nancy Green, uh, okay a Nobel prize dedicated to a Liberian president is all about Rhode Island? It’s great that you love Rhode Island, but your comment doesn’t quite pass the eau d’imperalism sniff test.

    And, is anyone else bothered by the fact that three women that don’t each collaborate are forced to share a prize, especially given that thus far Nobel peace prizes had been given 101 times but only 12 times to women? The director of the Nobel institute may have decided that this year is the “year of the woman,” but- I’ve been doing some reading!- it turns we’ve been 50% of the population for some time now. Long live lady resistance, but do keep in mind that the Nobel institute will only give you 15% of the recognition for it. Hmm…

  16. JinianVictoria H says:

    Some one finally gets it! We, the women of this world, in fact do rule the world! Think of the old phrase the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world. That these women stepped forwarded and put themselves on the line is a tribute to their steel nerves and sense of responsibility. If others would take some responsibility for their part of the world (however small) then we truly will become a nation and world of heros and caring people. Bravo and well done!

  17. Matthew Jameson says:

    JinianVictoria H:
    Some one finally gets it!We, the women of this world, in fact do rule the world! Think of the old phrase the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world. That these women stepped forwarded and put themselves on the line is a tribute to their steel nerves and sense of responsibility.If others would take some responsibility for their part of the world (however small) then we truly will become a nation and world of heros and caring people. Bravo and well done!

    The notion that women, in fact, rule the world is somewhat perplexing. Perhaps you can explain in some more detail what you mean by that? If it is the case, it seems that feminism’s work is done. Sounds dubious to me . . .

  18. Avida Quesada says:

    Matthew Jameson: The notion that women, in fact, rule the world is somewhat perplexing. Perhaps you can explain in some more detail what you mean by that? If it is the case, it seems that feminism’s work is done. Sounds dubious to me . . .

    Really, that’s not the objective of my version of feminism. If women rule the word I will be disassembling the matriarchy. I don’t want to replace the current kyriarchy for one that happens to benefit me.
    * —- * — *
    What I love the most of this Nobel price is that it was given for feminist reasons. They don’t got the Nobel price for working for peace on general, but because they were focus on women.
    I need to read more about this extraordinary women.

    Finally we still not there in terms of equal participation of women on the civil unrest movement. Still is true that the overwhelming dead count on the Arab Spring movement (to peek one case) are men.

    Men are still putting most of the blood. One of the good parts of the presence of women is that the press if fascinated filming them and protecting them. Maybe is patriarchal condescendence , but still it works. We need to work so that the participation of women end on rights for women too.

    love,

    Avida

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  20. Matthew Jameson says:

    Avida,

    That’s not the objective of my version of feminism, either :)

  21. Kea says:

    Véronique:
    I am overjoyed that these three women won the Nobel Peace Prize! The Nobel committee has sometimes made some curious choices, but with this selection I think they have redeemed themselves.

    Not in Physics, they haven’t.

  22. 4catlady says:

    Meanwhile, back in Topeka, Kansas…

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/cheats/2011/10/11/topeka-repeals-domestic-violence-ban.html#comments

    And, Dr. Pepper unveils their new product and ad campaign…

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/cheats/2011/10/11/dr-pepper-unveils-manly-soda.html

    It was a “two-fer” for set backs in the news today for women in the U.S.

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