DEVELOPMENT REPORT - Peace Prize for Women

By Jill Moss

This is the VOA Special English DEVELOPMENT REPORT.

Each year, the Nobel Committee in Oslo, Norway announces the winners of its famous Nobel Prizes. Most winners of the Nobel Peace Prize have been men. Only ten percent have been women since the prize was first presented in Nineteen-Oh-One.

Now the United Nations Development Fund for Women and the human rights group International Alert have presented a new award to honor women peacemakers. It is called the Millennium Peace Prize for Women. Officials will present the award every three years. The award recognizes women's actions in building peace, protecting women's human rights and supporting community life during and after war.

Experts say women are usually not as involved in the peace process as men are. However, their work to re-establish normal community life after peace has been reached is very important. Because of this, International Alert says women also need to be recognized as leaders in peace building.

Earlier this month, six women and organizations received the Millennium Peace Prize for Women. One of the winners is the Colombian group Ruta Pacifica de las Mujeres - or Women's Road to Peace. This group has organized protests against the violence between rebel groups and the Colombian government.

The group Leitana Nehan Women's Development Agency also won the peace prize. It helped in the peace process between the military and rebel forces in Papua New Guinea. Another winner is the group Women in Black. It is an international organization that organizes protests against violence, aggression and war.

Flora Brovina also received the peace prize. She organized the League of Albanian Women of Kosovo. Doctor Brovina has taught emergency medical skills to people in Kosovo.

Asma Jahangir and Hina Jilani are also peace prize winners. They worked to support human rights and women's rights in Pakistan. And the leader of the women's movement in Rwanda also won the Millennium Peace Prize, after her death. Veneranda Nzambazamariya helped re-build Rwanda after the mass killings in Nineteen-Ninety-Four. She died in a plane crash last year.

This VOA Special English DEVELOPMENT REPORT was written by Jill Moss.

Voice of America Special English