Monday, September 26, 2011

R.I.P. Wangari Maathai

Wangari Maathai, the first African woman to win the Nobel peace prize, passed away on Sunday night. She had been fighting ovarian cancer and was 71 years old.

An excerpt from her obituary:

"Her work with voluntary groups alerted her to the struggles of women in rural Kenya, and it quickly became her life's cause. Noticing how the rapid environmental degradation was affecting women's lives, she encouraged them to plant trees to ensure future supplies of firewood and to protect water sources and crops.

"Maathai's agenda quickly widened as she joined the struggle against the repressive and corrupt regime of Daniel arap Moi. Her efforts to stop powerful politicians grabbing land, especially forests, brought her into conflict with the authorities, and she was beaten and arrested numerous times. Her bravery and defiance made her a hero in Kenya."

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for making me aware of this courageous and well-informed heroine, both on behalf of oppressed people and the oppressed African environment. Excellent links! She understood the integral connection between the two, and the need for a spiritual base for environmentalism! What a great photograph, Spirit shining through her smile and eyes!