Three Global Fund for Women Grantees Win Nobel Peace Prize
We celebrate and congratulate Global Fund for Women grantees, Leymah Gbowee, Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and Yemini pro-democracy activist, Tawakkul Karman, who share the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize.
"We at the Global Fund are so happy and proud today," said Global Fund CEO, Musimbi Kanyoro. "Not just because the Nobel Committee recognized our grantee partners, but because in naming these three, they acknowledge and affirm that women are agents of change. These women, and millions of others like them, really are changing the world."
These were the first women to win the prize since another Global Fund grantee partner, Wangari Maathai, who died last month, was named as the laureate in 2004. Most of the recipients in the award’s 110-year history have been men and today’s decision echoes our belief that women have creative and strategic solutions to the problems facing their communities.
A Global Fund grantee since 2008, Leymah Gbowee founded Women Peace and Security Network Africa to mobilize and organize women across ethnic and religious dividing lines to bring an end to the long war in Liberia. The group campaigned to ensure women's participation in elections, and has since worked to enhance the influence of women in West Africa during and after war.
“It would have been impossible for us to achieve what we achieved in Liberia had it not been for the fact that we had support both financially and morally from our sisters at Global Fund for Women,” said Leymah Gbowee after her 2009 JFK Profile in Courage Award.
Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s Market Women’s Fund was awarded a Global Fund grant in 2008 to support the work of an international constituency of women activists with a mandate to create an empowering environment for Liberia’s market women by providing business skill training, educational opportunities, and financial support.
Women Journalists Without Chains, established in part by Tawakkul Karman, received a Global Fund grant in 2006 to train and educate female journalists. In order to defend women's rights through various media outlets, these women work together to campaign, raise awareness and advocate for their equal rights.
It is the Norwegian Nobel committee's hope that the prize to Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Leymah Gbowee and Tawakkul Karman will help to bring an end to the suppression of women that still occurs in many countries, and to realize the great potential for democracy and peace that women can represent.