Three women - two of Liberia, a Yemeni - were awarded the peace prize for his campaign work for women's rights
Three women have fought for peace and democracy in Liberia and Yemen have been jointly awarded this year's Nobel Peace Prize.
Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and Leymah Gbowee, a social worker has been champion of peace in the country, will share the 10m kronor (£ 950,000) with the award Tawakul Karman, a journalist and pro-democracy activist in Yemen has been a leading figure in the demonstrations against President Ali Abdullah Saleh since January.
The Nobel committee said the three had been chosen "for his nonviolent struggle for women's safety and rights of women to participate fully in the work of peace."
"We can not achieve democracy and lasting peace in the world, but women get the same opportunities as men to influence developments in all levels of society," said the committee in a statement. They are the first women to be awarded the prize since 2004, when the honorary committee of Muta Maathai, Kenyan environmentalist who died last month, and keep track of the winners of women to 15 men against 85.
Sirleaf, 72, is an economist graduated from Harvard, who was the first African-woman elected democratically in 2005, two years after the country achieved a fragile peace after decades of civil war. The committee said it had "contributed to ensuring peace in Liberia, to promote economic and social development and strengthening of the position of women."
seen as a reformer and peacemaker in Liberia for the first time he took office, Sirleaf has declared a policy of zero tolerance against corruption and has made education free and compulsory for all age children. He is currently a candidate for re-election with a vote to be held on Tuesday.
Gbowee, 39, was instrumental in helping bring peace to Liberia in the 2000s, causing a movement of women dressed in white to protest against the use of rape and child soldiers in war. In 2003, peace talks, she and hundreds of women around the room where discussions were under way, refusing to let go until the delegates who signed the treaty. The committee said it had "mobilized and organized by religious and ethnic dividing lines to end the protracted war in Liberia and to ensure women's participation in elections."
since 2004 has served as commissioner Gbowee in truth and reconciliation in Liberia and is now executive director of Women in Peace and Security Network, an organization working with women in Liberia, Ivory Coast, Nigeria and Sierra Leone to promote peace, literacy and political participation.
"This is a message that the era of Arab dictatorships more. This is a message to this plan and all that no despotic regimes voice can stifle the voice of freedom and dignity. C ' is a victory for the Arab spring in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Syria and Yemen. Our peaceful revolution will continue until the overthrow Saleh and establish a civil state. "
The President of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, Thorbjorn Jagland, told The Associated Press that the Karman award should be considered as a sign that the two women and Islam has played an important role in Arab uprisings this year. "The Arab Spring can not succeed without the inclusion of women in it," he said.
Karman belonged to a Muslim movement with ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, an Islamist group "in the West is perceived as a threat to democracy." He added: "I do not think are many signs that this type of movement can be an important part of the solution .. "
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