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Nobel Peace Prize to Iron Woman of Africa

President of Nobel Committee Thorbjørn Jagland announced 2011's Nobel Peace Prize winner this morning.

– Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf is one of Africa's most respected leaders and has created peace and prosperity in the country that was ravaged by one of Africa's most brutal civil wars, said Jagland.

Winners' Profiles

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf (born 29 October 1938) is the 24th and current President of Liberia. She served as Minister of Finance under President William Tolbert from 1979 until the 1980 coup d'état, after which she left Liberia and held senior positions at various financial institutions. She placed a very distant second in the 1997 presidential election. Later, she was elected President in the 2005 presidential election and took office on 16 January 2006. Sirleaf is the first and currently only elected female head of state in Africa. She, along with Leymah Gbowee and Tawakkul Karman, won the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize “for their non-violent struggle for the safety of women and for women’s rights to full participation in peace-building work” 

Iron Woman of Africa

The nickname “Iron Woman” has been given to 72 years old president due to iron determination she has shown through decades of political work, which she both ended up in government as Minister of Finance and in prison because of opposition to the government.

Leymah Roberta Gbowee

Leymah Roberta Gbowee is an African peace activist responsible for organizing a peace movement that brought an end to the Second Liberian Civil War in 2003. This led to the election of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf in Liberia, the first African nation with a female president. She, along with Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and Tawakkul Karman, were co-recipients of the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize “for their non-violent struggle for the safety of women and for women’s rights to full participation in peace-building work”. 

Tawakel Karman

Tawakel Karman, “Tawakel” also spelled “Tawakul” and “Tawakkul”, is a Yemeni politician who is a senior member of Al-Islah and a human rights activist who heads the group Women Journalists Without Chains that she created in 2005. She, along with Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and Leymah Gbowee, were co-recipients of the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize “for their non-violent struggle for the safety of women and for women’s rights to full participation in peace-building work”.

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