The Nobel Peace Prize for 2011 has been awarded to three remarkable individuals in a symbolic gesture that will raise the profile of women at work in the peace-building process around the world.
Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Leymah Gbowee and Tawakkul Karman were named this year's award recipients by the Norwegian Nobel Committee.
The women received the prize due to their "non-violent struggle for the safety of women and for women’s rights to full participation in peace-building work".
Organisers were also quick to point out the personal contribution each of the prize winners had made to improving the rights of women in their countries of origin, as well as internationally.
A statement from officials in Oslo said: "We cannot achieve democracy and lasting peace in the world unless women obtain the same opportunities as men to influence developments at all levels of society."
And while receiving an award of this nature may be a humbling experience the credentials of the women in focus are nothing short of inspiring.
Tawakul Karmen, politician and co-founder of Women Journalists Without Chains, is a human rights activist in Yemen.
Karmen is well known in Yemen for promoting greater press freedom and her advocacy was considered to be highly influential in the pro-democracy demonstrations that took place earlier this year
Speaking of the cultural changes that are happening in the Arab world, she said: "If you go to the protests now, you will see something you never saw before: hundreds of women. They shout and sing, they even sleep there in tents. This is not just a political revolution, it's a social revolution."
Leymah Gbowee, peace activist, is from central Liberia and grew up during the political dictatorship of Charles Taylor.
An activist for many years, it was her leadership in the 2003 women's peace movement – a series of negotiations that would eventually lead to a ceasefire between warring factions and culminate with the signing of the Accra Peace Accord – that made international headlines.
Ellen Johnson Sirlef, president of Liberia, is the first female head of state in Africa after previously holding high-profile positions at the United Nations and the World Bank.
Johnson Sirlef began her political career in the Liberian government in the early 1970s, after completing studies at Harvard University in America.
However, she was not elected president until 2005 – after the three-year civil war that devastated the country – and her leadership has been pivotal to national rebuilding efforts.