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At-Home with Gila Svirsky

2 June 2001
Subject: Women in Black movement nominated for Nobel Peace Prize


Just in time for June 8, the international movement of Women in Black has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. The following seems to be the press release issued about this nomination.

This is a moving tribute to the work of Women in Black, whether or not it results in a prize. We can only hope that the very nomination will serve to promote – internationally and in the Middle East – the vision of replacing the occupation with a just peace between Israel and Palestine.

Gila Svirsky


The movement Women in Black is suggested for the Nobel Peace Prize

We have the pleasure to announce that eight Danish and Norwegian parliamentarians (four women and four men) have nominated the movement “Women in Black” – represented by the Israeli and the Serbian group – to the Nobel Peace Prize 2001.

The movement Women in Black is nominated as a representative of the grass root peace movement including all the groups now active in Balkan and the Middle East.

In the nomination letter the Norwegian parlamentarians briefly describe the history and work of Women and Black, and they argue:

  • In Serbia, Women in Black was the first group to reach out a hand to the Kosovo-Albanians when the conflict grew severe.

  • In Israel, Women in Black with impressing indurance has insisted on dialogue and reconciliation for many years. Along with other couragous voluntary groups they represent a stripe of hope in this hard time in the Middle East.

  • Both groups consequently reject the hostile images made of their neighbouring people.

  • The movement Women in Black has proved to have the potential of spreading to many countries. Their calm and dignified, but still visual and telling, way of protesting has inspired peace activist in many countries.

  • The movement Women in Black presents a vision of peace which comprises non-discrimination, anti-sexism and anti-racism.

The one hundred years of the Nobel Peace Prize will rightfully be celebrated by honouring the grass root peace movement. And this peace movement will rightfully be represented by one of the many couragous women’s groups in many countries around the world. This will be justified both by the history of the peace movement and by the fact that the United Nations eventually has recognised women’s important contribution to peace building.

Women’s engagement is often under-reported and under-estimated, and is often neglected in the composition of delegations for negotiations and in building of post-conflict political institutions.

The Nobel prize for Women in Black will give an occasion to focus on the civil society and to thank all the thousands of calm peace- and democracy demonstrators who contributed to the relatively peaceful revolutions in many European countries during the last decade.

For interviews, please contact:

Anders Hornslien or Agot Valle, The Norwegian parliament (“Stortinget”), tel. +47 / 23 31 30 50.


on behalf of Ingunn Yssen,
director of the Centre for Gender Equality in Norway

Ellen Baalsrud

At-Home with Gila Svirsky

Letters from Jerusalem, 2001
Letters from Jerusalem, 2002
Letters from Jerusalem, 2003
New & recent letters from Jerusalem (2004)
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© 2001 Gila Svirsky, Centre for Gender Equality.

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