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1,000 women wanted for the Nobel Peace Prize

Mills College Weekly

A groundbreaking event that seeks to recognize women that work
at the grassroots level to uphold families, communities and nations
through peace, is underway. The first project of its kind, “1,000
Women for the Nobel Peace Prize 2005,” which will search the globe
to find 1,000 female nominees for the Nobel Peace Prize, has found
its North American hub at Mills College.

Director of the Women’s Leadership Institute Margo Okazawa-Rey
accepted an invitation to serve as a regional coordinator for the
project, which is housed in Bern, Switzerland. As one of 14
worldwide coordinators, Okazawa-Rey will be responsible for finding
women who work for peace in the United States and Canada. While
presenting a paper at “Womanoevres,” Feminine Debates on Peace and
Security in Zurich, Switzerland, an organizer of “1,000 Women for
the Nobel Peace Prize” approached Okazawa-Rey to spearhead the
search in the United States and Canada. She is thrilled about the

“There is a lot of negative information about the state of the
world. This is an opportunity to show something positive,
especially to show the work women have been doing to secure
families, communities and nations, through peace,” said
Okazawa-Rey. “It also relates directly to the work that I do here
at Mills. Peace security and justice dovetails nicely with the work
of the Institute.”

The first meeting of the “1,000 Women for the Nobel Peace Prize”
coordinators was held in August when their definition of peace
emerged as it applies to this project emerged. Their definition of
peace is more than the absence of war; peace claims access to all
resources vital to life, such as food and water as well as
structural ones like education, politics and property; and peace
assures the security and dignity of every human in a global concept
of social responsibility, according to a “1,000 Women for the Nobel
Peace Prize” newsletter. Among other things, the group established
the main criteria for nominees, determined that nominees will
include at least one woman from every country (225 according to the
U.N.), and that 35 percent of nominees will be mainly unknown women
working at the grassroots level, according to the newsletter.
Seeking out the unknown women is a key component according to
Okazawa-Rey. “That’s one of the things that excited me,” she said.
“It’s the unsung, the ordinary heroes that will be recognized.”

Meanwhile, Okazawa-Rey plans to find nominees by using her
contacts to cause a “ripple effect” through her networking circle
and beyond. In addition she said that everyone nominated will go
forward and that it will be up to the coordinator’s to select the
final 1,000 nominees.

The best part, according to Okazawa-Rey, is that every nominee
will be documented and it will become an archive to be shared with
the world. “We will have everyone documented through either
artwork, photographs, writings, or videos,” said Okazawa-Rey. “Then
we are taking all 1,000 women to Oslo, Norway for the Nobel Peace
Prize and a big party.”

She would also like interested undergrad students to get
involved in the effort.

For more information on how to get involved, contact Margo
Okazawa-Rey at For more information on the
project, visit