Our View: Nobel Peace Prize sends important message

DKS Editors

The 2011 Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to three influential women on Friday. The decision was made to draw attention to the suppression of women’s rights around the world and spur their fight for greater equality in male-dominated societies, according to a story in the Washington Post.

The winners, two from Liberia and one from Yemen, have been at the forefront of making women more visible in government and social activism in their respective countries.

Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, was the first democratically elected female president in post-colonial Africa. Leymah Gbowee, a peace activist also from Liberia, led hundreds of female protesters through Monrovia, the battle-scarred capital, demanding that fighters who were raping women and girls be disarmed. Tawakkol Karman is an activist for human rights in Yemen who has inspired thousands of women to rise up in a region where they are still considered inferior to men.

These women are rightfully celebrated not only for their efforts, but also for being awarded of the Nobel Peace Prize. It is a rarity for women to win the prize let alone three in one year. The Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded since 1901. Only 15 times in 110 years has it been awarded to a woman.

This signifies how important women’s rights have become in our society now in contrast with how unimportant they used to be. It should give women hope that women’s rights are stepping into the center of political discussions.

Although the U.S. may not have as many problems with women’s issues, it is important to note the struggles women face in other countries and commend those who are speaking out. Often we don’t realize that there are still countries struggling with allowing women some basic rights. This prize signifies something important for them. It sends a message to those they are up against.

The above editorial is the consensus of the Daily Kent Stater editorial board.