List of 1,000 women for peace prize unveiled

Five of the Swiss women: E. Neuenschwander, I. Rodriguez, A. Lanz, M. Spiller Hadorn and E. Reusse Decrey Keystone

A Swiss-backed initiative has published the names of 1,000 women who have been jointly put forward for the 2005 Nobel Peace Prize.

This content was published on June 29, 2005 - 15:46

The project aims to raise awareness about the work women do around the world in the cause of peace and human rights.

The 1,000 women who are being collectively nominated for the prestigious prize come from more than 150 countries.

Nearly 2,000 candidates were put forward to be included on the list and those in charge of the project have spent months whittling the applications down to half that number.

"The nominated women all commit themselves daily to the cause of peace and justice, often under the most difficult circumstances," the organisers said in a statement released on Wednesday.

Project coordinators sought to ensure that women from every part of the world were included on the final list.

The list includes 91 women from India and 81 from China. Other countries which are well represented include Brazil, Russia and the United States.

Common goal

"All the women on the list have one thing in common," Maren Haartje, one of the project managers, told swissinfo.

"They are all involved in human security, which is much broader than what we understand by the word 'peace'. The term includes things like helping people to get access to natural resources, clean water and healthcare as well as the prevention of violence."

Five Swiss have been selected as part of the quota of women nominated from western Europe. Another Swiss, Lotti Latrous, has been nominated for Ivory Coast.

"The Swiss women are involved in different areas of human security and the work they are doing covers a diverse range of peace activities," said Haartje.

The Swiss nominees include Anni Lanz, who has spent two decades fighting for the rights of refugees, and Elisabeth Reusse-Decrey, founder of a non-governmental organisation involved in the fight against anti-personnel mines.

The other Swiss on the list are Elizabeth Neuenschwander, who has worked on a variety of projects in developing countries since 1950, and Irene Rodriguez, a leading campaigner against the trafficking and prostitution of women.

Marianne Spiller Hadorn is included for her work helping to improve the lives of children in Mandirituba, Brazil. The last nominee is Lotti Latrous, who founded an Aids hospice in Ivory Coast.

Countdown begins

Organisers say they have been given no indication by the Oslo-based Nobel committee of their chances of winning the Peace Prize later this year.

"All we know is that we are one of 198 candidates for this year’s award," said Haartje.

"Some days I think we are in with a strong chance of winning, but on other days I’m not so sure."

Haartje says she is hoping for the best, but will not be disappointed if the 1,000 women fail to win the award.

"By publishing these names, women around the world are getting recognition for their work. And maybe this will inspire others to follow suit," she said.

A book containing the biographies of the 1,000 women is due to be published and distributed worldwide at the end of the year. A travelling exhibition of texts and photographs is also planned.

swissinfo, Ramsey Zarifeh

Key facts

1,000 women from 153 countries have been jointly nominated for the 2005 Nobel Peace Prize.
Six Swiss women appear on the list - one representing Ivory Coast.
The initiative is partly financed by the Swiss foreign ministry and supported by the Swiss Peace Foundation as well as the United Nations Development Fund for Women.
The Nobel committee is due to announce the winner of this year’s prize in Oslo on October 14.

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