The Associated Press is reporting that three women's-rights activists on Saturday accepted the vaunted 2011 Nobel Peace Prize while urging women to fight against male oppression.
"My sisters, my daughters, my friends — find your voice," Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf said after collecting her Nobel diploma and medal at a ceremony in Oslo.
Sirleaf, Africa's first democratically elected female president, shared the award with women's rights campaigner Leymah Gbowee, also from Liberia, and Tawakkul Karman, a female icon of the protest movement in Yemen.
By selecting Karman, the prize committee recognized the Arab Spring movement that has toppled autocratic leaders in North Africa and the Middle East. Praising Karman's struggle against Yemen's regime, Nobel committee chairman Thorbjoern Jagland also sent a message to Syria's leader Bashar Assad, whose crackdown on a monthslong rebellion has killed more than 4,000 people according to U.N. estimates.
"No dictator can in the long run find shelter from this wind of history," Jagland said. "President Assad in Syria will not be able to resist the people's demand for freedom of human rights.”
Congratulations to President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Leymah Gbowee and Tawakkul Karman for their exemplary leadership. We hope that their work continues to inspire people around the globe.
Read more at the Associated Press.