By Divya Chaturvedi
Congratulations to Nobel Peace Laureates Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Leymah Gbowee and Tawakkul Karman!
Last week, two women leaders from Liberia and one from Yemen were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for their tireless work towards women’s empowerment and the realization of women’s rights to fully participate in peace-building work. In a press release, the Nobel Committee expressed hope that the Prize awarded to Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Leymah Gbowee and Tawakkul Karman “will help to bring an end to the suppression of women that still occurs in many countries, and to realize the great potential for democracy and peace that women can represent.”
The connection between CCL and Liberian President and Nobel Peace Prize winner goes back to CCL’s participation in President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf’s initiative – the International Colloquium on Women’s Empowerment, Leadership Development, International Peace and Security in 2008, and is very consistent with CCL’s commitment to provide new, innovative, and transformative models and resources for developing the leadership capacity of women and other leaders throughout the world.
Since then, CCL, under its Leadership Beyond Boundaries (LBB) initiative, has developed a ‘Women’s Empowerment and Leadership Program’ (WELP), that works with the fundamental assumption that ‘leadership development is key to capacity building and empowerment of women’, and the goal of making leadership development affordable and accessible to women around the globe. This assumption has been confirmed time and again as more than hundreds of women have participated in WELP workshops in Africa, Asia, and North America. The relevance of CCL’s work with women can be gauged from the fact that WELP is being used to empower women in Yemen for peace-building and conflict-resolution, to affect women’s agenda in the government and society in Mexico and Jordan, to build capacity and leadership of healthcare workers working with HIV+ women in Ethiopia, enabling women entrepreneurs to become effective leaders in Nigeria and more.