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Women needed to build peace - Sima Samar, Tipperary peace prize winner

'I have observed failures of various good-intended efforts for peace, due to the absence and active involvement of women.' - Samar. Photo: NPR training Kabul journalists, USAID.Women need to take their place alongside men to help build peace across the world, human rights activist Dr Sima Samar has said.

Last week Dr Samar won the 2010 Tipperary International Peace Prize and the judging panel said she risked her life to fight for the rights of women and girls in both Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Dr Samar leads the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission and has also served as an UN Special Rapporteur to monitor human rights.

The activist said the Tipperary Award will be an inspiration to Afghan women in enhancing their commitment towards peace building and in the elimination of injustice and discrimination.

In a statement, she said: "I am strongly committed to upholding the values attached to the Tipperary International Peace Award, and in having them observed throughout of my life.

"I also feel very glad to see the Award has recognised my sincere and strong belief on women's participation in efforts towards peace building and the fulfilment of human rights as cornerstones to achieve them.

“I have observed failures of various good-intended efforts for peace, due to the absence and active involvement of women.

“This prestigious award will therefore effectively inspire Afghan women to enhance their commitment towards peace building and towards the elimination of injustice and discrimination".

The 2010 Tipperary International Peace Award will be presented at a special ceremony in Tipperary later this year.

Previous recipients of the award have included Bob Geldof, Bill Clinton, Nelson Mandela and Mikhail Gorbachev.

The Tipperary Peace Convention has awarded its prize every year since 1984.

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