2011 Nobel Peace Prize Goes To Three Women Leaders

January 20, 2012

Unlocking Word Meanings
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

1. activist (n.) [ak-tuh-vist] – a person who takes action to achieve a cause, especially a political or social cause
Example: Environmental activists oppose the use of nuclear power.

2. laureate (n.) [lawr-ee-it, lor-]  – a person recognized with an award for excelling in a particular field
Example: The famous author became a writer laureate for his great contribution to literature.

3. assert (v.) [uh-surt] – to defend or to state strongly
Example: He asserted his opinion even though  everybody was against it.

4. eradicate (v.) [ih-rad-i-keyt] – to remove
Example: The political candidate promises to eradicate corruption in the government.

5. suppression (n.)  [suh-presh-uhn] – the act of stopping the activities of something or someone
Example: People faced suppression from the king and could not freely do what they wanted.

Read the text below.

Three female activists and political leaders were jointly awarded the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize at a ceremony held in Oslo, Norway.

The Nobel Peace Prize Laureates were Liberia's President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, fellow Liberian Leymah Gbowee, and Yemen's Tawakkol Karman. They were awarded for their nonviolent struggle for women's safety and women’s rights.

President Sirleaf said in her speech that the award gathered together three women who are committed to promoting justice and democracy in countries torn by animosity. In 2005, Sirleaf became the first female in modern history to become president of an African country. Despite her critics, many credit her for restoring peace in Liberia after its 14-year civil war.

Social worker Gbowee founded the Women, Peace and Security Network Africa (WIPSEN-Africa) which asserts the participation of women leaders in keeping peace and security throughout Africa. She earned recognition for leading women’s mass protest that helped end violence in Liberia. 

At 32, journalist and political activist Karman is the youngest Nobel Peace Prize laureate ever awarded. Through her organization Women Journalists Without Chains, Karman promotes women’s rights and freedom of expression. Karman has been called the “Mother of the Revolution” in Yemen for actively campaigning for democracy even before the Arab Spring, the series of revolution in Arab Nations that started in 2010.

The Nobel committee hopes that the prize will help eradicate the suppression of women in more countries. At the end of the ceremony, Nobel committee chairman Thorbjorn Jagland stated that people who were once forced to hide in the dark refuse to do so anymore.

Viewpoint Discussion
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor. 

Discussion A 

      Do you think awards such as the Nobel Peace Prize are significant? Why or why not?
      What actions (e.g., charity, rescue operations, etc.)  do you think deserve to be recognized?

Discussion B

      Why do you think gender inequality still exists today?
      Should gender equality be promoted? Why or why not?


January 20, 2012