NOPPAW: African women are the backbone of Africa
African women have been nominated for the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize. The candidacy of African women for this prestigious award was submitted by Nobel Peace Prize for African Women Campaign (NOPPAW) backed by Italy based associations Solidarietà e Cooperazione Cipsi and ChiAma l’Africa.
The idea of proposing African women for the Nobel Peace Prize is aimed at making the international community recognise that without the hidden and hard work of African women, most African societies would be poorer both economically and socially.
African women are the backbone of Africa, the Campaign says. They are responsible for 75% of agricultural production and produce 85% of Africa’s consumer goods.
The campaign highlights the fact that thousands of African women’s organizations deal with political and social issues, provide healthcare and promote peace.
During war, African women endure the massacre of their fathers, brothers, husbands and sons, and are forced to watch as their children are taken from them and obliged to fight.
“Women are indeed the backbone of Africa in all the areas of life; from homemaking and raising children to the economy, politics, culture, the arts and the environment. Indeed, it is impossible to conceive of any human future in Africa without their essential, active participation. Without their far-reaching contribution today, there can be no Africa of tomorrow,” NOPPAW says.
It is a high time the entire world formally recognised African women’s significant contribution to the continent’s development.
“In our modern world, plagued by human as well as (the well documented) economic crisis, we believe that the humble woman of Africa and the pivotal role that she plays can help pave the reconstruction of a more just human society – not just in Africa, but across the globe.”
Awarding the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize to the African Women would be a symbolic act to show appreciation for their daily struggles.
The file submitted to the Noble Peace Prize Committee nominating African women for the prize included documents and reports prepared by jurists, African and European sociologists, and above all, more than 100 life stories of African women and of a network of women’s organizations in all parts of Africa.
African continent is full of women who day by day, are doing extraordinary things to overcome their difficulties, says Mr. Eugenio Melandri, spokesman of ChiAma l’Africa Association. They are women who don’t attract media attention, but whose courage and determination, move the whole continent ahead, Mr. Melandri adds.
It is the first time in the history of the Noble Peace Prize that an enormous and informal group of people has been proposed for the prize. This symbolic gesture is aimed at provoking emotions, pushing for solidarity with African women, and above all, recognizing their important role, says Mr. Guido Barbera, President of Solidarietà e Cooperazione Cipsi. It is impossible today to imagine of any action aimed at development in Africa without putting women who are the constructors of peace, at the centre of such an action, Mr. Barbera adds.
The campaign to award African women the Noble Peace Prize will continue until October, when the prize will be given out. Many activities have been organized as part of the campaign, including a caravan organized by Cinemovil Association which will depart from South Africa to Norway, passing through several African and European countries.
At the same time, several activities will be hosted by African women in Senegal, Mali, Burkina Faso and in many other African countries.
An international event will be held in Brussels, Belgium, bringing together representatives of international institutions and organizations and MPs.
As we celebrate the 100th Anniversary of International Women’s Day this year, the best way of giving meaning to this celebration is to officially recognize and appreciate the efforts of African women by granting them the Noble Peace Prize.
Please back the campaign by signing the online petition on this link: http://www.noppaw.org/
Via Colossi, 53 – 00146 – Roma, Italy
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www.noppaw.org & www.cipsi.it.
By Stephen Ogongo Ongong’a