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.