The Nobel Peace Prize is conferred on individuals and institutions with sterling achievements in enhancing camaraderie between nations, worked for elimination or reduction of armies or armed groups, and upholding peace conventions.
Last year, the Nobel Peace Prize was bestowed on Kailash Satyarthi (India) and Malala Yousafzai (Pakistan) for their great efforts against suppression of children and giving all youngsters globally the right to education. The major similarities between these two crusaders include their passion or zeal to fight for the rights of children. They both desire that boys and girls deserve to attend school and must not be manipulated financially. Both peace advocates realized that violations of children’s rights are very common in countries where there are extreme poverty and armed conflicts.
What were distinct differences? Kailash Satyarthi, a campaigner against child labor and advocate of kids’ rights and education, is already 61 years old. However, he demonstrated absolute courage just like Mahatma Gandhi. He was at the forefront of numerous peaceful protest actions that focused on severe exploitation of young people for financial gains. He also gave significant contributions to the development of vital international meetings on rights of children all over the world.
On the contrary, Malala Yousafzay is only 18 years old. Yet, she already spent several years pushing the right of girls to proper education. She has accomplished these under very perilous circumstances. She has become a leading spokesperson for girls' rights to education because of her courageous struggles. Idealistic students from India and Pakistan have voiced out similar opinions on how the two award winners have put their priorities and time for the welfare of youngsters. A Hindu gentleman and a Muslim woman were united in a collective fight for learning and against radicalism.
Three women received the shared award in 2011. These were Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the 24th and current President of Liberia; Leymah Gbowee, peace activist also from Liberia; and, Tawakkul Karman, the Iron Woman of Yemen. They were given the Nobel Peace Prize for their non-violent endeavors for the safety and rights of all women. The committee chose them for waging a peaceful campaign so their fellow women can also participate actively in peace building initiatives.
All share the similarities of being peace promoters in their respective countries. Sirleaf is 72 years old and an Economics Graduate from Harvard University. She is the first female president of Liberia who was elected in 2005 after many years of civil strife. President Sirleaf does not allow the practice of corruption in her government and provides free but compulsory education for primary school children. Gbowee is only 39 years of age but she was active in bringing peace to Liberia during the early 2000s. This female activist headed a women’s movement to object to rape of women and use of child-fighters in armed conflicts particularly the war in her country.
Gbowee led hundreds of Liberian women who encircled the place where the 2003 peace negotiations were held. They refused to let delegates go until the treaty was signed.
Gbowee is commissioner in Liberia's truth and reconciliation commission. She is also executive director of Women in Peace and Security Network. It is an organization that works with other women in Liberia and other African nations to boost harmony, literacy and political participation.
Tawakkul Karman, 32 years and mother of three kids, organized the group called Women Journalists without Chains. She has been a street activist and the voice of militants in Arabic broadcast media networks. Karman was one of those who actively called for the end of the Ali Abdullah Saleh’s rule.
2009 and 2007 Winners
United States President Barack Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize a few months after his first term. The Nobel Committee selected President Obama because of his exceptional efforts to fortify diplomacy and collaboration between different nations of the world. Of course, he had other accomplishments in the field of international diplomacy.
The chief executive of the leading super power was singled out for reducing the massive arsenal of nuclear weapons all over the world.
He was also credited for bolstering the peace process in the Middle East.
On the other hand, former US Vice President Al Gore won the Nobel award in 2007. He is said to be the only person who devoted much of his time, efforts and expertise to foster global understanding regarding measures to deal with climate change and global warming.
Both were US politicians who were widely criticized for personal and non-personal reasons. There have been many nominees and actual winners of this annual Nobel Prize since 1901. There were similarities and differences between them but one thing is certain.
They all contributed in some way to world development and peace.