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Jody Williams received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1997 for her work to ban landmines through the International Campaign to Ban Landmines, which shared the Peace Prize with her that year. At that time, she became the 10th woman - and third American woman - in its almost 100-year history to receive the Prize. Since her protests of the Vietnam War, she has been a life-long advocate of freedom, self-determination and human and civil rights. Since January of 2006, Jody Williams has worked toward those ends through the Nobel Women's Initiative, which she chairs. Along with sister Nobel Laureate Dr. Shirin Ebadi of Iran, she took the lead in establishing the Nobel Women’s Initiative. They were joined at that time by sister Nobel Laureates Wangari Maathai (Kenya), Rigoberta Menchu Tum (Guatemala) and Betty Williams and Mairead Maguire (Northern Ireland). The Initiative uses the prestige of the Nobel Peace Prize and the influence and access of the women Nobel Laureates themselves to support and amplify the efforts of women around the world working for sustainable peace with justice and equality. Her new memoir on life as a grassroots activist, My Name is Jody Williams: A Vermont Girl’s Winding Path to the Nobel Peace Prize, will be released by the University of California Press in March 2013.
Ms. Williams on the importance of women:
“Women are at the frontlines of climate change—they suffer the most when the health of our planet is under threat—and they lead the charge in their own communities for sustainable environment practices. The devastating impacts of the rapid expansion of the energy industry, as I recently witnessed in the tar sands of Alberta, has highlighted the need for our political representatives to pay attention to the concerns of women and their solutions for a sustainable future.”