Nobel Peace Prize Nod to African and Arab Women
Today it was announced that two African women, both from Liberia, have been honored with the Nobel Peace Prize. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf (above), the first female elected president in Africa, and the peace activist Leymah Gbowee (now based in Ghana) have accepted the prize on "behalf of the Liberian people." Not only was today's announcement a boost to Africa and gender equality (most of the previous winners have been men), it was also a nod to the Arab world. A third recipient of the award is Tawakul Karman, a 32 year old Yemeni woman whose arrest in January spurred widespread protests in Yemen.
Leymah Gbowee's win is an obvious choice as she is a force to be reckoned with. She's a badass when it comes to organizing and thinking outside of the box, or rather, closing up the box. Check her out on The Colbert Report talking about the sex strike she organized to end the civil war in Liberia. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf's win comes a week before Liberians go to the polls to decide her re-election. Even though the Nobel Committee contends that her selection for the Prize had nothing to do with her re-election campaign, the award could still be viewed as an international endorsement of the President, whose popularity is waning at home where mass poverty is a pervasive issue.