2021-10-08 11:42:56 Nobel Peace Prize Has Disproportionately Gone to Men
Nobel Peace Prize Has Disproportionately Gone to Men
On Friday, Philippine journalist Maria Ressa became only the 18th woman to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in its 126-year history.
With women constituting half of the world’s population, the obvious question is: why have so few been awarded the committee’s most prestigious prize and, more broadly, why have women been underrepresented across the Nobel prizes?
In response to the criticism, the Nobel committee acknowledged its poor track record in 2017.
“From a broader perspective, we are disappointed that more women have not been recognized.” Göran Hansson, vice chair of the Nobel Foundation’s board of directors,
“Part of it is going back in time to identify discoveries,” he explained. “We must wait until they are verified and validated before awarding the prize.” There was an even stronger bias against women at the time. If you go back 20 or 30 years, there were far fewer female scientists.”
He did, however, acknowledge other issues, such as the manner in which people are judged for prizes. He stated that they would begin addressing the imbalance in 2018.
“I hope to see a very different situation in five or ten years,” he said.
The Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded to a total of 109 individuals, as well as organizations. Bertha von Suttner, an Austrian writer who was a leading figure in Europe’s nascent pacifist movement, was the first woman to receive the prize. She was honored in 1905, two years after Marie Curie became the first woman to be awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics.
It would be another 26 years before another woman was chosen for the award: the American Jane Addams, widely regarded as the founder of modern social work and a champion of children’s and mothers’ concerns. She shared the prize in 1931 with Nicholas Murray Butler, then-president of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
Mother Teresa received the award in 1979, Shirin Ebadi of Iran received it in 2003, Wangari Maathai of Kenya received it in 2004 and Malala Yousafzai of Pakistan received it in 2014.
In 2011, three women shared the award: Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Liberia’s former president; Leymah Gbowee, a Liberian peace activist; and Tawakkol Karman, a Yemeni journalist who became the face of her country’s “Arab Spring” uprising.