Blog of Awesome Women / Rigoberta Menchu Tum
March 15

Blog of Awesome Women / Rigoberta Menchu Tum

The Nobel Peace Prize is one of the highest honors a human being can receive; I like to think of it as the designation for the truly evolved! The lore behind the prize is that Alfred Nobel was always interested in the cause of peace, but he was moved to do something about it by his friend, baroness Bertha von Suttner. She became involved in the international movement against war founded in the 1890s and inspired Nobel to back it financially. By January 1893, Alfred wrote the good baroness a letter of his intentions to establish a prize for “him or her who would have brought about the greatest step toward advancing toward the pacification of Europe.” Clearly this prestigious endowment has spread to include the whole world and includes women and men from many different ethnicities and backgrounds. Since 1901, over 100 Peace Prizes have been awarded. So far, women recipients have received the laurel for a 10 percent average, but as of the last decade, women are catching up. Here are ten priestesses of pacifism:

Rigoberta Menchu Tum was a controversial choice the Nobel committee made in 1992. A Mayan Indian and Guatemalan native, Tum was criticized by many conservative pundits for her involvement in the guerilla rebel group of her country; they saw it as being in conflict with the Nobel ethics of commitment to nonviolence. The truth is, however, that even though her father and many friends and fellow campesinos were burned alive in a peaceful protest at the Mexican embassy, she never participated in violence and has always worked toward peace and justice for her country within the social political arenas, explaining, “we understood revolutionary in the real meaning of the word ‘transformation.’ If I had chosen the armed struggle, I would be in the mountains now.”

This excerpt is from The Book of Awesome Women by Becca Anderson, which is available now through Amazon and Mango Media.


Original post here!