October 10, 2004

Nobel Peace Prize Winner

TAPPED' Sam Rosenfeld recommends reading the WaPo article about Wangari Maathai, this year's Nobel Peace Prize winner, and I'd like to ditto that recommendation. Here is a woman known as Kenya's Green Militant who has done an incredible job of showing the power of individuals to build an enlightened community that truly does honor the people and the land as well as creating the recognition that we can build a better future for our descendants.

Wangari Maathai, a Kenyan activist who founded an Africa-wide movement that empowered women, confronted corrupt officials and planted millions of trees in ravaged forestland, will receive the Nobel Peace Prize for 2004, the Nobel Committee announced Friday in Oslo.

Maathai, the first African woman to win the prize, is known as "Kenya's Green Militant." She has championed the environment for more than 30 years on a continent where many people live close to nature but find it under increasing pressure from development, pollution and war.

"We have added a new dimension to the concept of peace," said Ole Danbolt Mjoes, head of the Nobel Committee, which makes its decisions in secrecy. "We have emphasized the environment, democracy building and human rights, and especially women's rights."

...She has been a passionate fighter for women's rights, leading by example on a continent where women often live as second-class citizens, do most of the labor, but have the legal rights of children. Their rights to own property, for instance, are often limited.

What an inspiring role model for us all. And isn't it wonderful that the Nobel committee set the bar for defining peace as protecting the environment, doing the real work of democracy building (and not at the end of a gun), emphasizing human rights and promoting women's rights? After years of Bush speak, it is good to be reminded of what real courage, strength, and wisdom is.

Posted by Mary at October 10, 2004 01:06 PM | Recommended Reading | Technorati links |