Eight Women Nominated for Nobel Peace Prize

Eight women who have spent years doing their part to heal and re­build Cambodia are among 1,000 women who have been jointly no­mi­nated for this year’s prestigious Nobel Peace Prize.

Since the first Nobel Peace Prize was handed out in 1901, only 12 women have received the award. With men historically leading countries and overseeing wars, peace negotiations and other initiatives, the accolades have commonly fallen to them.

But two years ago, a Swiss organization decided that the important role women play—many of them wor­king in villages and re­mote re­gions—should be recognized by a joint no­mination that, if successful, will see all the women share the award.

The list of names, drawn from 150 countries, was made public Thursday and included seven Cam­­­bodian women and an Aus­tra­lian woman who has been wor­king in Cambodia for several years.

“Waiting for peace will never make it happen,” opposition law­ma­ker and nominees Mu Sochua said last week before heading to the US. “It is never handed out.”

Fellow nominee Boua Chan­thou, director of NGO Partnership for Development in Kampuchea which is trying to encourage trust and a sense of community in the country, said Cambodians, especially women, have long struggled for their rights and peace.

“Cambodian women have suffered a lot,” she said Sunday. “Even after the UN elections, the situation of women has not im­proved.”

Over the last six months, all 1,000 women have been interviewed and photographed and their stories in­clu­ded in a book highlighting their accomplishments.

Also nominated were Licadho president Kek Galabru, Center for Social Development President Chea Vannath, Cambodian Wo­men’s Crisis Center President Oung Chanthol, Oddom Van Sy­vorn of the Dhammayietra Center for Peace and Nonviolence, Prak Sokhany of Australian Catholic Re­lief and Australian national Emma Leslie of the Action Asia Net­work.

The 2005 Nobel Peace Prize winner is expected to be announced in Oc­tober with the book to be re­leased around the same time.

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