[Worldkings] Top 100 pioneers in all fields (P. 76) Wangari Maathai (Kenya): The first African woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize

02-06-2023

(Worldkings.org) Wangari Muta Maathai founded the Green Belt Movement, an environmental non-governmental organization focused on the planting of trees, environmental conservation, and women's rights. In 2004 she became the first African woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize.

Wangari Maathai, in full Wangari Muta Maathai, (born April 1, 1940, Nyeri, Kenya—died September 25, 2011, Nairobi), Kenyan politician and environmental activist who was awarded the 2004 Nobel Prize for Peace, becoming the first Black African woman to win a Nobel Prize. Her work was often considered both unwelcome and subversive in her own country, where her outspokenness constituted stepping far outside traditional gender roles.

Maathai was educated in the United States at Mount St. Scholastica College (now Benedictine College; B.S. in biology, 1964) and at the University of Pittsburgh (M.S., 1966). In 1971 she received a Ph.D. at the University of Nairobi, effectively becoming the first woman in either East or Central Africa to earn a doctorate. She began teaching in the Department of Veterinary Anatomy at the University of Nairobi after graduation, and in 1977 she became chair of the department.

While working with the National Council of Women of Kenya, Maathai developed the idea that village women could improve the environment by planting trees to provide a fuel source and to slow the processes of deforestation and desertification. The Green Belt Movement, an organization she founded in 1977, had by the early 21st century planted some 30 million trees. Leaders of the Green Belt Movement established the Pan African Green Belt Network in 1986 in order to educate world leaders about conservation and environmental improvement. As a result of the movement’s activism, similar initiatives were begun in other African countries, including Tanzania, Ethiopia, and Zimbabwe.

Wangari Maathai is internationally recognized for her persistent struggle for democracy, human rights and environmental conservation. She has addressed the UN on several occasions and spoke on behalf of women at special sessions of the General Assembly for the five-year review of the earth summit. She served on the commission for Global Governance and Commission on the Future. She and the Green Belt Movement have received numerous awards, most notably The 2004 Nobel Peace Prize.

Between 1901 and 2018, only 52 Nobel Prize awards were given to women, while 852 Nobel Prize awards have been given to men. Through her significant efforts, Wangari Maathai became the first African woman, and the first environmentalist, to win the Peace Prize.

 

According to Britannica.com & nobelprize.org & Wikipedia


Kyna ( Collect) - WORLDKINGS (Source of photos: Internet)

 

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