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Liberian president jointly wins Nobel Peace Prize

Friday, October 07, 2011 - 02:26

OCT 7 - Liberia's president Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf is announced as one of three women awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Sunita Rappai reports.

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Declaring women's rights vital for world peace, the Nobel Committee has awarded its coveted annual Peace Prize to three indomitable female campaigners against war and oppression, Liberian president Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, her compatriot Leymah Gbowee and Yemeni women's rights activist Tawakkul Karman all share the $1.5 million prize. Nobel Peace Prize committee chairman Thorbjoern Jagland said it was vital that women play an active role in the peace-building process. SOUNDBITE) (English) NOBEL PEACE PRIZE COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN THORBJOERN JAGLAND SAYING: "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." Johnson-Sirleaf, Africa's first freely elected female president, has won widespread praise for her work rebuilding Liberia after a bloody 14-year civil war. The 72-year-old former finance minister, once jailed as an opposition activist, was elected in 2006 . SOUNDBITE) (English) LIBERIA PRESIDENT ELLEN JOHNSON-SIRLEAF, SAYING: "I have an opportunity to open the doors for more African women to hold high level political positions, because I represent the aspirations and expectations of Liberian African women, maybe women all over the world, therefore the pressure is on me to make sure that I succeed." Her fellow countrywoman, Leyman Gbowee, mobilised and organised Liberian women against the brutal civil war, across religious and ethnic lines, also famously organizing a 'sex strike.' The committee praised her for enhancing the influence of West African women. Activist Tawakkul Kraman was praised for playing a leading part in the struggle for women's rights and democracy in Yemen - despite ''the most trying'' circumstances. The mother-of-three said the award was a victory for Yemen's democracy activists who would continue to fight for full rights in the country. Sunita Rappai, Reuters

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Liberian president jointly wins Nobel Peace Prize

Friday, October 07, 2011 - 02:26