Oslo, Norway: Oslo: The 2011 Nobel Peace Prize was awarded Friday to Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Liberian peace activist Leymah Gbowee and Tawakkul Karman of Yemen for their work on women's rights.
The Norwegian Nobel Committee honored the three women "for their non-violent struggle for the safety of women and for women's rights to full participation in peace-building work."
Johnson Sirleaf, 72, is a Harvard-trained economist who became Africa's first democratically elected female president in 2005.
She faces a presidential poll this month.
She was seen as a reformer and peacemaker in Liberia when she took office. But recently, opponents in the presidential campaign have accused her of buying votes and using government funds to campaign. Her camp denies the charges.
Liberia was ravaged by civil wars for years until 2003. The country is still struggling to maintain a fragile peace with the help of U.N. peacekeepers.