The role of a woman involved in the Arab Spring, the revolution that swept through North Africa, could soon be recognised when the Nobel Peace Prize is announced.
Lina Ben Mhenni is a blogger who was criticising the Tunisian government before the uprisings. If the accolade goes to her it will be in recognition of the peaceful nature of the protests.
Events in Egypt too could come to the attention of the five-strong committee who decide on the winner. Israa Abdul-Fattah is an Egyptian democracy activist who denies she is any different from others. It is thought she will be one of the nominees. Recognition, she says, could be invaluable in helping pro-democracy movements in country’s like Syria and Yemen.
“The most probable winner,” is how one Norwegian TV station described Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. She is the first woman elected as a head of state in Africa. She came to power as President of Liberia after 14 years of civil war.
That TV station in Norway has made the correct prediction for two successive years. It did not mention Sima Samar, although the first woman to become a senior minister in Afghanistan is a contender. The medical doctor is also chairwoman of the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission.
Latin America is also in the running with three candidates including the dissident group the, “Ladies in White”. It was formed eight years ago in Cuba by wives and relatives of people who until recently were political prisoners, and is known for holding peaceful protests in the streets of Havana.