Nobel Peace Prize Winner Criticizes Another Winner of the Award, Citing Corruption
Leymah Gbowee, an activist from Liberia who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2011, says that she is very disappointed with fellow winner, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Liberia’s president.
Gbowee feels that the winners of the prize should do more to spread the message of peace. She also says that Sirleaf didn’t do enough to fight corruption in her home country of Liberia.
“I think there should be more required of us by the committee … in terms of preaching the message,” said Gbowee.
Gbowee and Sirleaf shared the Nobel Prize in 2011 with Tawakkol Karman, an activist from Yemen.
During an interview at the Women’s Forum Global meeting, Gbowee said that the winners of the prize should come together to discuss the impact they are having on the world.
The Norwegian Nobel Committee has been heavily criticized in recent years for giving the prize to individuals who are not necessarily promoting world peace. The prize was awarded to President Barack Obama in 2009, which was surprising since he has been since accused of violating civil liberties around the world.
Gbowee won the prize for fighting to end the civil war in Liberia in 2003. She also led women in peaceful protest, and even organized strikes where the women would refuse to sleep with their husbands until their rights were acknowledged.
“Let down by her, I won’t say 100%, but on certain issues, yes,” Gbowee said about Sirleaf.
Gbowee asked why Sirleaf’s three sons have lucrative posts within the government. She asked her to make one of her sons step down from his position as chairman of the state-owned National Oil Company (NOCAL). Gbowee has resigned as the head of the reconciliation commission in Liberia because of her concerns about corruption. While the rest of Liberia suffers, Gbowee claims that the wealthy and elite are making themselves rich. Maybe she has a point.
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