On Thursday, March 24th Jody Williams, one of seven women to receive the Nobel Peace Prize, and one of the founders of the Nobel Women’s Initiative made an appearance on the Colbert Report. Williams, who won the Peace Prize for her effort on the International Campaign to Ban Landmines, argues we have a long way to go before achieving gender quality. The Nobel Women’s Initiative, c0-founded by six female recipients of the prize, aims “to help strengthen work being done in support of women’s rights around the world – work often carried out in the shadows with little recognition.” In the 100 years since its founding, the Nobel Peace Prize has only been awarded to 12 women. Clearly, this is not a reflection of a gender imbalance among campaigns to promote world peace. Instead, it reflects a continuing resistance to recognize and promote work led by women around the world.
As Williams states it loud and clear, the fact that the ideas and efforts of half of the world’s population are continuing to be ignored is a serious problem with major policy repercussions. “If you have a bunch of white dudes sitting around a table you’re going to get white dude ideas.”