It’s pretty exciting to people who care about creating a humane world when people like Al Gore and Wangari Maathi win the Nobel Prize. Still, most of the prize winners tend to be older, North American or European men. Almost 90% of Laureates in the last 25 years have been men, and about 80% of those have come from North America or Europe. That’s why it’s great to have an “Alternative Nobel Prize” that recognizes the essential work of people from all over the world: the Right Livelihood Awards.
Since 1980 the Right Livelihood Awards have been honoring and supporting people who offer "practical and exemplary answers to the most urgent challenges facing us today." This year’s winners come from India, German, Somalia, and the U.S.:
Krishnammal and Sankaralingam Jagannathan (India) have been working most of their lives for social justice and sustainable development. They focus on serving the needs of “Dalits, landless and those threatened by the greed of landlords and multinational corporations.”
Monika Hauser (Germany) works to prevent and bring to justice those who commit sexual violence against women and girls in wartime, and to support and nurture survivors of sexual violence.
Asha Hagi (Somalia) has played a major role in mobilizing women to empower themselves and take on significant roles as peacemakers and decision makers in their war-ravaged country.
Amy Goodman (U.S.) has become a journalistic powerhouse, cultivating public media collaboration and, through her radio program, Democracy Now!, providing news and commentary on important issues, especially those the mainstream media chooses not to cover (or which are underreported).