Friday, October 7, 2011


Horche, Spain - The Nobel Peace Prize for 2011 was awarded Friday to three influential women from Africa and the Middle East, a decision intended at once to draw attention to the suppression of women’s rights around the world and to spur their fight for greater freedoms and equality in conservative, male-dominated societies.  Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia became the first woman to be elected president in post-colonial Africa. Peace activist Leymah Gbowee, also from Liberia, mobilized women across ethnic and religious lines to help end war in Liberia and ensure women’s participation in elections there. Tawakkol Karman, a Yemeni human rights activist, has been a leading figure in the nation’s populist revolt this year and inspired thousands of women to rise up in a region where women are considered second-class citizens.

Many activists and pro-democracy campaigners viewed this year’s prize as one intended to highlight all women activists who have fought for democracy, human rights and gender equality.  The Oslo-based committee described the award as an important siren call for women all over the world. In a citation read by its chairman, Thorbjorn Jagland, the committee said that “we cannot achieve democracy and lasting peace in the world unless women obtain the same opportunities as men to influence developments at all levels of society.”  Men have overwhelmingly won the award in its 110-year history. Only 12 other women have been honored with Nobel Peace Prize, including Mother Teresa, American reformer and women’s suffrage leader Jane Addams and Kenyan environmental activist Wangari Maathai, the 2004 winner who died last month.

Africa’s first democratically elected female president, a Liberian campaigner against rape and a woman who stood up to Yemen’s autocratic regime won the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday in recognition of the importance of women’s rights in the spread of global peace.  “The tireless work of these and countless other activists brings us closer to a world where women will see their rights protected and enjoy growing influence at all levels of government,” said Amnesty International. 
Now women have the opportunity to express their love beyond their immediate family circle.

All ancient and even not so ancient societies, both religious and secular, have looked similarly upon women in ways that today's society does not. The reason is largely because of the obvious fact that women are no less intelligent, no more lusty, etc., than men. Other religious traditions, such as Christianity, have for the most part moved on from the Bible's traditional description of the role of women to embrace the times that are with us, in which women are involved in every aspect of society. ... Now they can vote, have a say as to what the world needs, and thus share the loving nature you attribute to them by investing it in determining world leaders. Nor is there any evidence that women are now less caring at home. The equality that women have gained has also caused many men to become more caring.

Śrīla Bhakti Vedanta Tripurari Mahārāja :
"Women And The Reality Of Our Times"
Sri Caitanya Sanga - January 31, 2001, Vol. III, No. 4

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