Peace Prize winners take their bows in Oslo
1/18/2012, 1:35 p.m.
Dec. 13 (GIN) - Three female activists - two from Liberia and one from Yemen - accepted the prestigious Nobel Prize for Peace at a special Nobel ceremony Saturday in Oslo, Norway's capital city.
The first to accept the peace prize was Liberian President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf -- the first woman to be freely elected as a head of state in Africa and widely acknowledged for her work rebuilding her country.
Sirleaf paid tribute to all the Nobel Peace winners from Africa and those of African descent.
"I am particularly honored to be a successor to the several sons and one daughter of Africa who have stood on this stage -- Chief Albert John Lutuli, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Nelson Mandela and F.W. De Klerk, Kofi Annan, Anwar Sadat, Wangari Maathai, Mohammed El Baradei as well as as Barack Obama, Martin Luther King Jr and Ralph Bunche -- Americans of African descent," Sirleaf said.
Fellow-Liberian Leymah Gbowee, who mobilized and organized women across ethnic and religious divides to help end the war in Liberia in 2003, dedicated her prize to the women in her country.
Her advice to women: "Don't wait for a Gandhi, don't wait for a King, don't wait for a Mandela. You are your own Mandela, you are your own Gandhi, you are your own King." And finally "Liberian women, thank you for making our country proud. Thank you for sitting in the rain and in the sun. .. The world used to remember Liberia for child soldiers, but they now they remember our country for the white T-shirt women," Gbowee said to a standing ovation.
The third woman, Tawakul Karman, an Islamist journalist who has been a key figure in protests in Yemen, said she accepted the prize on behalf of Arab youth leading uprisings in their countries.
The laureates, receiving the prize on the 115th anniversary of the death of benefactor Alfred Nobel, will share a total award worth 1.5 million dollars.