It’s time to rejoice as two inimitable Muslim women are in the running for the prestigious Nobel Peace Prize for their efforts towards building sustainable peace and combating extremism. Libyan law student and activist Hajer Sharief, and Somali human rights activist Ilwad Elman are the women of the hour, who have both been a part of the former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan’s initiative, ‘Extremely Together’, which nurtures 10 young activists from around the world.
“We’re delighted to see the extraordinary work of young people from around the world receiving recognition in this way,” Alan Doss, President of the Kofi Annan Foundation, said in a statement, referencing Director of Peace Research Institute Oslo Director, Henrik Urdal’s personal shortlist of possible contenders for the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize, which includes Hajer and Ilwad.
At just age 19, Hajer co-founded the organization ‘Together We Build It’, and has continued to work towards a smooth democratic transition in Libya. Following in her father’s footsteps, 29-year-old Ilwad returned to the Somali capital Mogadishu to helm the Peace and Human Rights Center, which aims at curbing gender-based violence in the country.
“Young people are setting the agenda on issues of critical importance for peace and security both locally and globally, challenging established narratives and generational power dynamics… it’s my view that the contributions of young people should be highlighted in this year’s Nobel Peace Prize,” stated Henrik Urdal. We’re rooting for these young female powerhouses.
Cover image: @Hajer.sharief