Friday, October 7, 2011

Liberian, Yemeni woman share Nobel Prize

Three Women Share 2011 Nobel Peace Prize

1:40pm UK, Friday October 07, 2011
Tim Marshall, foreign affairs editor

The Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded to three women, including the president of Liberia Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf.

Ms Johnson-Sirleaf was handed the honour along with Liberian activist Leymah Gbowee and Tawakkul Karman of Yemen.
The awards are an attempt by the Peace Prize Committee in Oslo to increase the role women play in conflict resolution.
It said they were recognised "for their nonviolent struggle for the safety of women and for women's rights to full participation in peace-building work".
Ms Johnson-Sirleaf, who dedicated her honour to "all Liberians", is Africa's first democratically elected female president.
L-R: Tawakul Karman, Leymah Gbowee, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf
Winners: Tawakkul Karman, Leymah Gbowee and Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf
Known as the "Iron Lady", she came to power in 2005 and has spent her first term in office strengthening peace in her country and promoting women rights across the African continent. She is running for re-election next week.
Leymah Gbowee brought women together from different religious and ethnic lines as part of ending the Liberian war and then keeping the peace.
She also organised a "sex strike" by women as part of her campaign.
In a nod to the momentous events in the Arab world, the third winner of the $1.5mn prize was an Arab.
Tawakkul Karman has fought for women's rights, democracy and peace in Yemen for many years and at considerable personal risk through the organisation Woman Journalists Without Chains.
Another "Iron Woman", she dedicated her prize to "the youth of revolution in Yemen and the Yemeni people".
The Peace Prize dates back to the 1895 will of the award creator Alfred Nobel, which contained guidelines about how to pick the winner.
Nobel wrote it should be for those who "work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses".
In recent years, the Nobel committee has been criticised for its choices.
In 2009, US President Barack Obama won despite holding the presidency for just a week before nominations closed. This led to the joke that it was a prize "For not being George Bush".
In 2007, the award went to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change which some felt did not fall within Nobel's criteria.
Although there have been several occasions when an organisation has won, for example Amnesty International, theUN and the Red Cross, it is more traditional to award it to an individual or individuals.
The winners can use the title Nobel Laureate to further their aims.
This gives them a moral stature which, despite having less impact that it once did, remains unmatched by any other award.

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May 27, 2010 shows Liberia's President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf speaking during a meeting with US President Barack Obama in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC AFP Photo.

May 27, 2010 shows Liberia's President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf speaking during a meeting with US President Barack Obama in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC AFP Photo.
Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Liberian "peace warrior" Leymah Gbowee and Yemen's Arab Spring activist Tawakkul Karman won the Nobel Peace Prize today, the jury said.
 The three prizewinners share the 2011 award "for their non-violent struggle for the safety of women and for women's rights to full participation in peace-building work," Norwegian Nobel Committee president Thorbjoern Jagland said in his announcement.
 "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," he added.
 Sirleaf, 72, made history when she became Africa's first elected woman president in 2005. She took power in a nation traumatised by 14 years of brutal civil war that left 250,000 dead and economic devastation, with no electricity, running water or infrastructure.
 The Nobel Committee said that "since her inauguration in 2006, she has contributed to securing peace in Liberia, to promoting economic and social development, and to strengthening the position of women." Sirleaf's rise to power might not have been possible without the efforts of Gbowee, 39, an activist who led Liberia's women to defy feared warlords.
 She pushed men toward peace by inspiring a large group of both Christian and Muslim women to wage a sex strike during what was one of Africa's bloodiest wars.
 The Nobel Committee hailed Gbowee for having "organised women across ethnic and religious dividing lines to bring an end to the long war in Liberia, and to ensure women's participation in elections." Tawakkul Karman is a 32-year-old Yemeni activist and journalist who has braved several stints in prison in her struggle for women's rights, press freedom and the release of political prisoners in Yemen.
 She is the first Arab woman to the win the Peace Prize.
 The Nobel jury hailed her for "in the most trying circumstances, both before and during the 'Arab Spring'... (playing) a leading part in the struggle for women's rights and for democracy and peace in Yemen."
Friday, October 7, 2011 ""

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Monday, August 22, 2011

Wang Wrote to Mao to Quit Youth League

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August 18 marked the 45th anniversary of China's
"Great Cultural Revolution."
Wang Rongfeng, who once wrote to Mao Zedong at the age of
19 to quit the Communist Youth League.
In retrospect, she said that the cultural revolution was
an absurd "horror show" staged by state violence
in conjunction with adolescent violence
to smash the Chinese society.

On Sept. 24, 1966, one month after the onset of
"cultural revolution,"Wang Rongfeng,
a senior at Beijing College of Foreign Languages, wrote to Mao,
"Please think in the name of Chinese people,
where will you lead China to?"
The "Cultural Revolution" is not a mass movement,
but one person moving the masses with a gun.
I solemnly declare to withdraw from the Chinese
Communist Youth League from this day.

Currently living in Germany, Wang, in her 60's told NTD that

45 years ago, on August 18, ... More