The first elected female president in modern Africa, a peace activist, and a pro-democracy campaigner are splitting the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize three ways. President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia is joined by Leymah Gbowee, also of Liberia, and Tawakul Karman of Yemen; the winners were chosen by the Nobel Committee for "their non-violent struggle for the safety of women and for women's rights to full participation in peace-building work."
The Nobel Committee made special mention of Sirleaf's and Gbowee's work to strengthen the political role of women in Liberia since Sirleaf's election in 2006, and Karman's leading role in advocating for women's right in Yemen, both before and after the Arab Spring.
Sirleaf, Gbowee and Karman were the first women to win the US$1.5 million prize for peace since Wangari Maathai of Kenya in 2004.
The announcement, read by the head of the Oslo-based Nobel Committee, said: "We cannot achieve democracy and lasting peace in the world unless women obtain the same opportunities as men to influence developments at all levels of society."
Sirleaf and Gbowee were both featured in eye-opening documentaries about their lives and work; Iron Ladies of Liberia follows President Johnson Sirleaf during her first year in office, and Pray The Devil Back To Hell - which won Best Documentary at the 2008 Tribeca Film Festival - is a chronicle of the women organized by Leymah Gbowee who helped end the Second Liberian Civil War.
Check out the trailers below.