Women Nobel Peace Prize Winners

Updated August 5, 2020 | Infoplease Staff

Women who fought for peace

Malala Yousafzai Accepts Her Prize
Malala Yousafzai accepts her Nobel Prize
Source: AP Photo/Matt Dunham

Women's History Month

Bertha von Suttner (Austria): The Baroness Bertha von Suttner was one of the first person to ever receive the Peace Prize. A close friend of Alfred Nobel, she was possibly the person who inspired the prize, or at the least played a significant role in its creation. She was awarded the prize for her novel Die Waffen nieder!, or Lay Down Your Arms!, which spread anti-war ideals throughout Europe. She was the first woman to be solely given a Nobel Prize (after Marie Curie received one jointly) and the first Austrian. 

Jane Addams with Nicholas Murray Butler (U.S.): Jane Addams is perhaps best known for her many ventures aside from international anti-war activism. She founded the Hull House, which offered essential community services to poor immigrants, and forwarded many protective laws and regulations that now form essential parts of American social policy. She also helped found the American Civil Liberties Union. However, her prize was for her work in creating the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom. 

Emily G. Balch and John R. Mott (U.S.): Emily Greene Balch was a close compatriot of Jane Addams, and their work overlapped regularly. Balch worked at the Hull House, and was another cofounder of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom. Balch was internationally recognized for her studies of refugees and migrations. While a Wellesley College professor, she acted on several Boston committees on behalf of immigrant populations. She also helped to hasten the end of the U.S. occupation of Haiti. 

Mairead Maguire, née Corrigan and Betty Williams (Northern Ireland): Growing up during the Troubles, Corrigan and Williams were both witness to sectarian violence through their lives. Motivated by their experiences, the two women worked together to found the Peace People Organization and combat violence in Northern Ireland. In 1976 they were recognized for their dedication to peace in the then long-embattled country, and awarded the Peace Prize. 

Mother Teresa of Calcutta (India)

Alva Myrdal and Alfonso Garcia Robles (Sweden and Mexico)

Aung San Suu Kyi (Myanmar, then Burma)

Rigoberta Menchú (Guatemala)

International Campaign to Ban Landmines and Jody Williams (U.S.)

Shirin Ebadi (Iran)

Wangari Maathai

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Leymah Gbowee, and Tawakel Karman (Liberia, Liberia, and Yemen)

Malala Yousafzai (Pakistan) 



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