Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Leymah Gbowee, a social worker and campaigner in Liberia, and Tawakkul Karman, an activist and journalist from Yemen, all took home Nobel Peace Prizes for their non-violent struggles against injustice, sexual violence and repression, CNN reported.
"Ever since the Norwegian Nobel Committee made this year's decision known, the people of Norway have looked forward to seeing you on this stage," said Thorbjorn Jagland, chairman of the Norwegian Nobel Committee.
"You give concrete meaning to the Chinese proverb which says that 'women hold up half the sky,'" he said. "We thank you for the hope you awaken in us all."
Sirleaf, 72, is Africa's first female head of state, and helped bring Liberia's 14 year civil war to an end, the BBC reported.
"On behalf of all the women of Liberia, the women of Africa, and women everywhere in the world who have struggled for peace, justice and equality, I accept with humility the 2011 Nobel Prize for Peace," she said.
Gbowee, 39, led a peaceful campaign to end Liberia's civil war and oust former President Charles Taylor.
"I believe that the prize this year not only recognizes our struggle in Liberia and Yemen," she said. "It is in recognition and honor of the struggles of grass roots women in Egypt, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Cote d'Ivoire [Ivory Coast], Tunisia, in Palestine and Israel, and in every troubled corner of the world."
Karman, 32, who the first Arab woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize, founded Women Journalists Without Chains in 2005.
"I accept the award on my behalf and on behalf of the Yemeni and Arab revolutionary youth, who are leading today's peaceful struggle against tyranny and corruption with moral courage and political wisdom," Karman said.
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