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Peace X Peace Members: Our Nobel Nominees

22 October 2008 2 Comments

Comment by Mary Liston Liepold

Yes, the Nobel Prize surprises are over for this year, and the winners got lots of well-deserved press. But October is also the month for The Right Livelihood Awards, popularly known as the Alternative Nobels. Swedish-German journalist and philatelist Jakob von Uexkull sold his business to endow the first awards in 1980 because the six Nobel categories didn’t fully cover the fields of human endeavor that mattered most to him: independent journalism, peacebuilding, and social justice.

This year’s Right Livelihood Awardees are three women—Somali, German, and American—and an Indian couple. Krishnammal and Sankaralingam Jagannathan and their organization LAFTI (Land for the Tillers’ Freedom) (India) received the Award “for two long lifetimes of work dedicated to realizing in practice the Gandhian vision of social justice and sustainable human development, for which they have been referred to as ‘India’s soul’.” They work with the Dalit, formerly known as “untouchables,” and other landless people.

Asha Hagi (Somalia) was honored “for continuing to lead at great personal risk the female participation in the peace and reconciliation process in her war-ravaged country.” She worked with others to found a clan of women, called the Sixth Clan, that stands beside the five traditional, male-dominated Somali Clans. Together, the women have created a Ministry for Gender and Family Affairs and won a 12% quota for female representation in their Transitional Federal Parliament.

Monika Hauser (Germany), gynecologist and founder of Medica Mondiale, received the Award “for her tireless commitment to working with women who have experienced the most horrific sexualized violence in some of the most dangerous countries in the world, and campaigning for them to receive social recognition and compensation.” To date, she has helped 70,000 traumatized women and girls in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kosovo, and Liberia.

Amy Goodman (USA), founder and award-winning host of Democracy Now!, a daily grassroots, global tv/radio news hour, was honored “for developing an innovative model of truly independent political journalism that brings to millions of people the alternative voices that are often excluded by the mainstream media.”

You may remember the campaign led by Ruth-Gaby Vermot-Mangold, beginning in 2003, to nominate 1,000 women worldwide for the Nobel Peace Prize. The portraits of the nominees went into books and videos and are now traveling as a photo exhibit, shown this year in Paris, among other sites. The organization, now called Peacewomen across the Globe, is mounting a new initiative for 2009, the United Nations’ Year of Reconciliation.

Two of the nominees were in the news this week. Zipporah Sein, an ethnic Karen who was elected general-secretary of the Karen National Union (KNU) in Thailand on Friday, is the first woman to serve in that role. And Muriel Duckworth, who founded the Halifax, Nova Scotia, Raging Grannies, is celebrating her 100th birthday with appropriate honors.

Here at Peace X Peace, we know some 1,200 women-led Circles and more than 6,000 individual women who deserve international recognition for the noble work you’re doing—quietly, patiently, day by day, and peace by peace. We want to hear your stories, and to let the world hear them. Please, post them on our home page, Call us on Skype and tell us what you’re up to. Send an email. Or simply comment on this blog.

And tell us: Who would YOU nominate for the next Nobel Peace Prize? What alternative prizes would you like to create?

About the Author

Mary Liepold is the Editor-in-Chief at Peace X Peace. To reach Dr. Liepold, email
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2 Comments to “Peace X Peace Members: Our Nobel Nominees”
  1. Kizzie says:

    I would nominate Nahifd Toubia for her work to help the world understand the concept and consequences of female genital mutilation/circumcision

    I would nominate Gasim Badri, president of Ahfad university for women in Sudan for standing up for women’s rights and education for a long time and for defending his students in the face an oppressive and woman-hatting govt.

  2. Aisha Mustafa Mohamed says:

    The American Elections Day is a historic day or al nationain the world..The model of a real dynamic democracy id restored.I would nominate the young American viled lady Shaima who was part of the Obama campaign , who stood up to democratic rights of a diverse world best nodelled in her counrty on the vital support of young, strong and open-minded pesons like shaimaa.

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