Gbowee, 39, a social worker and mother of five, was cited for her efforts in organizing women “across ethnic and religious dividing lines to bring an end to the long war in Liberia, and to ensure women’s participation in elections. She has since worked to enhance the influence of women in West Africa during and after war.”
Karman, 32, a veteran activist and mother of three serves as chair of Women Journalists Without Chains, a non-governmental organization that works to promote civil rights and freedom of speech in Yemen.
“We cannot achieve democracy and lasting peace in the world unless women obtain the same opportunities as men to influence developments at all levels of society,” said the citation read to reporters by Thorbjorn Jagland, a former Norwegian prime minister who heads the Oslo-based Nobel committee that chooses the winner of the $1.5 million prize.
The committee said it hoped that the 2011 peace prize winners would “help bring an end to the suppression of women that still occurs in many countries, and to realize the great potential for democracy and peace that women can represent.”
More than 250 people were nominated for the prize this year