Dec 11 2 Comments

No women, no peace

As I write this it is past midnight and I should be in bed. I just went for a walk in the cold, the dark and the moonlight. It was therapeutic.

Today is a special day (or I guess, by now, it was yesterday). Do you know what it is: The international human rights day. Bet you didn’t know that. And it is the day that three women received the Nobel’s Peace Prize. Perhaps you didn’t know that either.

But you may have known it is two weeks until Christmas. To be honest: That is less important.

The three women were women I had never heard of before. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf (actually, I had heard of her), Leymah Gbowee and Tawakkol Karman. All three of them got the prize  “for their non-violent struggle for the safety of women and for women’s rights to full participation in peace-building work”.

Ellen Johnsom Sirleaf is from Liberia, and  is 73, and is the president in her country. Her compatriot is Leymah Gbowee, a social worker and activist, is 39. And the last one who shared the prize is Tawakkol Karman from Yemen. She is a journalist and activist, and at 32 she is the youngest person to receive the Prize ever.

“The promising Arab Spring will become a new winter if women are again left out,” said Thorbjorn Jagland, the chairman of the Norwegian Nobel Committee during the ceremony.

I would like to add that any spring anywhere in the world will become a new winter if the women are left out.

These women are brave. They have risked their lives for peace. I loved Leymah Gbowee most known campaign in Liberia: Organizing a “sex strike” in 2002, when women withheld sex from their husbands until hostilities ended. I heard the campaign was very successful.

Rather than me trying to retell what they shared, listen to one of the speeches here. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. I have not been able to find the other two. But hold on tight. I will keep looking.

So tonight, as I go to sleep, I will remember what was being chanted at by thousands as they honored the three women: No women, no peace. No words have been more true.

Good night.


  • Linda Busklein says:

    Bravo to the Nobel committee, first for knowing who these women are and then for recognizing their importance.

  • Maureen says:

    I watched the ceremony and heard their stories and was so filled with emotion because I know the sacrifice must have been enormous to get to that point where someone noticed their work. This was the highlight of my day!