This year’s International Women’s Day was marked at the UN with a Millennium Peace Prize for Women, sponsored jointly by the UN Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) and International Alert. This is the first award of its kind to recognize the role of women in making peace and sustaining communities during war. Among the winners were the Leitana Nehan Women’s Development Agency for its work during the conflict between Bougainville rebels and the Papua New Guinea military, and Ruta Pacifica de las Mujeres, a coalition of campaigns for peace in Colombia.

Women Building Peace

Millennium Peace Prizewinners Asma Jahangir and Hina Jilani. These Pakistani lawyers, who are sisters, established the country’s first all-women’s law firm in 1981 and have ever since been in the forefront of defending women’s and human rights. Jahangir was imprisoned for opposing martial law in 1983 while Jilani is currently Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General on human-rights defenders.

New Internationalist issue 334 magazine cover This article is from the May 2001 issue of New Internationalist.
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