Prof. Wangari Maathai is credited with setting high standards for the rights of women, and indeed the whole nation through her campaigns to protect the environment, freedom of speech and expression, releasing the (infamous) Moi era political prisoners and for inspiring a new crop of scholars and activists. She will be greatly missed by all those who aspire for a better, free and just world.
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Joseph Makokha (makokhamj)
Sep 28, 2011
Oct 1, 2011 06:36 AM UTC
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Wangari Muta Maathai (1 April 1940 – 25 September 2011) was a Kenyan environmental and political activist. She was educated in the United States at Mount St. Scholastica and the University of Pittsburgh, as well as the University of Nairobi in Kenya. In the 1970s, Maathai founded the Green Belt Movement, an environmental non-governmental organization focused on the planting of trees, environmental conservation, and women's rights. In 1984, she was awarded the Right Livelihood Award, and in 2004, she became the first African woman to receive the Nobel Peace Prize for “her contribution to sustainable development, democracy and peace.” Maathai was an elected member of Parliament and served as Assistant Minister for Environment and Natural Resources in the government of President Mwai Kibaki between January 2003 and November 2005.