Brussels, 10 October 2011: The ACP Group continues to celebrate the achievements of three women jointly awarded the Noble Peace Prize on Friday, including two Africans.

Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Liberian peace activist Leymah Gbowee and Yemeni pro-democracy opposition leader Tawakkul Karman were recognised for their “non violent struggle or the safety of women and for women’s rights to full participation in peace-building work”.

They are the first women to win the Prize since the late Wangari Maathai of Kenya, who died last month, was named as laureate in 2004. It also makes Sirleaf and Gbowee the second and third African women to ever be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

In all, only 15 women have received the honour since its initiation in 1901.

The Chair of ACP’s Committee of Ambassadors H.E. Stephen Katenta-Apuli praised the women for their “extraordinary achievement” at the Committee’s meeting earlier this week.

“Most of the recipients in the award’s 110-year history have been men and Friday’s decision seemed designated to give impetus to the cause of women’s rights around the world. We therefore applaud the wisdom of the Nobel Committee and, on behalf of the ACP family of nations, warmly congratulate our esteemed Nobel laureates,” he said.

Sirleaf is the first democratically elected female head of state of Liberia. Karman is the first Arab woman to receive the prestigious award.

The three women will share the 10 million Swedish Krona prize money (about 1 million Euros).

(Pictured: Nobel Peace Prize winners Tawakkul Karman, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, and Leymah Gbowee. Photo by Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images)