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United for Peace
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The Nobel Women's Initiative was established in 2006 by sister Nobel Peace Prize laureates Shirin Ebadi, Wangari Maathai, Rigoberta Menchú Tum, Betty Williams, and Jody Williams. These women—representing North and South America, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa-bring together their extraordinary experiences in a united effort for peace with justice and equality. Their goal is to meaningfully contribute to building peace by working together with women around the world. Please visit them online to learn more about their work: www.nobelwomensinitiative.org.


Nobel Women’s Initiative leading peace delegation of prominent women
This column is provided by The Nobel Women's Initiative

Nobel Women’s Initiative leading peace delegation of prominent women

Monday, 21 July 2008

FOLLOW OUR JOURNEY - visit our blog

The Nobel Women’s Initiative will proudly lead a delegation to Thailand - the Thai-Burma border, Ethiopia, South Sudan, and Chad from July 21 to August 6.

Led through the first leg of its journey by Nobel Peace Laureate Jody Williams and Mia Farrow, renowned activist and actor, the delegation leadership will be joined by Nobel Peace Laureate Wangari Maathai on the African leg.

The objective of this delegation is to hear and relay the messages of women’s groups in the regions, call attention to their courageous efforts for peace and justice, and promote effective resolutions to the political crisis facing Burma and the escalated conflict in Darfur.

The Delegation has come to the area of the Thai/Burma border and will continue on to South Sudan and Darfuri refugee camps in Chad,

    * To build alliances with women and women’s organizations there by:

    * Listening to their unique stories, perspectives and experiences;

    * Learning from their work to build sustainable peace in their communities how they see the role of women in actively negotiating peace agreements in their countries and in rebuilding their communities and societies when the conflicts have ended;

    * Conveying their messages to other women’s organizations where we live and work and through our collective networks as well as to the media and to governments at national, regional and international levels; and by

    * Highlighting China’s influential role in these crises and their peaceful resolution.

    Joining Jody, Wangari, and Mia on this delegation are Chinese labour activist Qing Zhang; Dr. Sima Samar, United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Sudan; and Reverend Gloria White-Hammond, humanitarian and Chair of the Save Darfur Campaign. The mission will also welcome a Nobel Women’s Initiative Philanthropist.

    Follow along as the delegation blogs the sights and sounds of this important journey at our special delegation ‘hub’ and share photos and video footage of the extraordinary people they meet along the way. Spread the word.

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    The Nobel Women's Initiative was established in 2006 by sister Nobel Peace Laureates Jody Williams, Shirin Ebadi, Wangari Maathai, Rigoberta Menchú Tum, Betty Williams and Mairead Corrigan Maguire. We six women -- representing North and South America, Europe, the Middle East and Africa -- have decided to bring together our extraordinary experiences in a united effort for peace with justice and equality.

    Only 12 women in its more than 100 year history have been recognized with the Nobel Peace Prize. The Nobel Peace Prize is a great honor, but it is also a great responsibility. It is this sense of responsibility that has compelled us to create the Nobel Women’s Initiative to help strengthen work being done in support of women's rights around the world - work often carried out in the shadows with little recognition.

    We believe that peace is much more than the absence of armed conflict. Peace is the commitment to equality and justice; a democratic world free of physical, economic, cultural, political, religious, sexual and environmental violence and the constant threat of these forms of violence against women – indeed against all of humanity.

    It is the heartfelt mission of the Nobel Women’s Initiative to address and work to prevent the root causes of violence by spotlighting and promoting the efforts of women’s rights activists, researchers and organizations working to advance peace, justice and equality. By sharing a platform with these women, the NWI will spotlight their tireless work to prevent violence against women. By helping to advance the cause of women, we believe we advance all of humanity.

    United by our desire to combat all forms of violence against women in all circumstances, we also recognize that specific issues for women vary around the world. One element of our work will be to sponsor international meetings of women every two years -- in a different region of the world -- to highlight issues of concern to women there. The objective of these meetings is to underscore our commonalities and differences by providing inclusive and energizing forums that ensure meaningful dialogue and networking by women’s rights activists around the world -- but with a view to action.

    It is our commitment to action that brings us together. Therefore, our meetings will be linked with concrete work in the target region leading up to the conference, along with post-conference plans of action to address the issues addressed at the conference. In this way, the Nobel Women’s Initiative will support meaningful work on the ground.

    We believe profoundly in the sharing of information and ideas. By networking and working together rather than in competition, we enhance the work of all. The Nobel Women’s Initiative is committed to supplementing and enhancing existing work and is determined to avoid duplicating the work of others. We want to open new ground for discussion, debate and change.

    We hope you share our excitement about the potential of the Nobel Women’s Initiative to meaningfully contribute to building peace with justice and equality by working together with women around the world.

    For more information, visit www.nobelwomensinitiative.org


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