Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Liberian “peace warrior” Leymah Gbowee and Yemen’s Arab Spring activist Tawakkul Karman have won this yearÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Nobel Peace Prize. Veteran Swedish PeopleÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Party politician, former Defence Minister Elisabeth Rehn, told YLE she was particularly ecstatic over the Nobel CommitteeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s decision to honour Johnson Sirleaf.
Hooray! This is a choice I can wholeheartedly support,Ã¢â‚¬Â said Rehn, a former UN Under-Secretary-General who in the mid-90s served as the worldÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s first woman Defense Minister. Ã¢â‚¬Å“I know Johnson Sirleaf very well, having worked with her over the past 11 years.Ã¢â‚¬Â
In 2002, Johnson Sirleaf and Rehn co-authored Women, War, Peace, a UN report assessing the impact of armed conflict on women. At the time, Liberia, under then-President Charles Taylor, was in the middle of a bloody civil war.
Tawakkul Karman. The three prizewinners share the 2011 award “for their non-violent struggle for the safety of women and for women’s rights to full participation in peace-building work,” Norwegian Nobel Committee president ThorbjÃƒÂ¶rn Jagland said in his announcement.
Rehn has worked on numerous international assignments in the past decade. In the 1994 Finnish presidential elections she was narrowly defeated by Martti Ahtisaari, who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2008.