Merkel hails Nobel Peace Prize-winning women
German Chancellor Angela Merkel, considered the world's most powerful woman, Friday hailed as a "wise decision" the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to a trio that have fought for women's rights.
With the announcement, the Nobel Committee "is sending a message to the whole world, a message that the Federal Government wholeheartedly endorses," Merkel's spokesman, Steffen Seibert, told a regular briefing.
Merkel was "very personally" pleased about the result of this year's Peace Prize, Seibert added.
"Women are the big hope for a peaceful world and better conditions, not only in this region but everywhere," he said.
"All over the world, there are courageous women who stand up for their rights and for freedom."
The Nobel Prize Committee earlier Friday awarded the 2011 Peace Prize to Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Liberian "peace warrior" Leymah Gbowee and Yemen's Arab Spring activist Tawakkul Karman.
The trio shared the award "for their non-violent struggle for the safety of women and for women's rights to full participation in peace-building work," Norwegian Nobel Committee president Thorbjoern Jagland said.
Karman was the first Arab woman to the win the Peace Prize.
Forbes magazine named Merkel, 57, the world's most powerful woman for the fourth time, as the world looks to the leader of Europe's top economy to pilot the eurozone safely out of its debt crisis.
© 2011 AFP