The Nobel Women's Initiative was established in 2006 by sister Nobel Peace Laureates Jody Williams, Shirin Ebadi, Wangari Maathai, Rigoberta Menchú Tum, Betty Williams and Mairead Maguire. The six women -- representing North and South America, Europe, the Middle East and Africa -- decided to bring together their extraordinary experiences in a united effort for peace with justice and equality. Aung San Suu Kyi became an honorary member following her release from house arrest in 2011, and Leymah Gbowee and Tawakkol Karman joined the Initiative in 2012.
Only 15 women in its more than 110 year history have been recognized with the Nobel Peace Prize. The Nobel Peace Prize is a great honor, but it is also a great responsibility. It is this sense of responsibility that compelled us to create the Nobel Women's Initiative to help strengthen work being done in support of women's rights around the world - work often carried out in the shadows with little recognition. The Nobel Women’s Initiative uses the prestige of the Nobel Peace Prize and of courageous women peace laureates to magnify the power and visibility of women working in countries around the world for peace, justice and equality.
We believe peace is much more than the absence of armed conflict. Peace is the commitment to equality and justice; a democratic world free of physical, economic, cultural, political, religious, sexual and environmental violence and the constant threat of these forms of violence against women -- indeed against all of humanity.