Monday 3 October marks the start of the 2022 Nobel Prize announcements, which will take place from 3 to 10 October. Over the course of the next week, the Nobel Prize Committee will announce this year’s winners in the five Nobel Prize categories of Physics, Chemistry, Physiology or Medicine, Literature, and Peace.
Jane Addams and Emily Greene Balch
In 1931, Addams – WILPF’s first international president – won the prize alongside Columbia University president Nicholas Murray Butler in recognition of their “assiduous effort to revive the ideal of peace and to rekindle the spirit of peace in their own nation and in the whole of mankind.”
Just the second woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize, Addams devoted her life to advocating for universal peace and disarmament. Fearless and outspoken, she was once accused by the FBI of attempting to “emasculate national security” by calling for an end to war and conflict, and was even called “the most dangerous woman in America.”
In 1946, WILPF’s first international secretary, Emily Greene Balch, became the second WILPF member and third woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize for “her lifelong work for the cause of peace.”
Regarded at the time as a dangerous radical by the US government, Balch was a self-professed socialist and anti-war campaigner. She worked closely with Jane Addams during World War I to call for a peaceful solution to the conflict, and remained a devoted member of WILPF from its founding until her death in 1961.
The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons
WILPF’s history with the Nobel Peace Prize did not end with Emily Greene Balch. In 2017, the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) – of which WILPF is an international steering group member – won the prize in recognition of its efforts to drive progress towards a nuclear-free world.
ICAN played a critical role in advocating for the adoption of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, the first legally binding international agreement to outlaw nuclear weapons with the goal of total nuclear disarmament. The Treaty entered into force on 22 January 2021.
Through WILPF’s disarmament programme, Reaching Critical Will, we were proud to be part of these efforts and remain a committed member of ICAN.
WILPF Norway member celebrates and recognises women nominees of the Nobel Peace Prize
In total, Nobel Prizes in all categories have been awarded 609 times to 975 people and organisations since 1901. Of the awardees, just 58 have been women.
In her book Women and the Nobel Peace Prize, long-time WILPF Norway member and professor of political science Ingunn Norderval examines the lives and legacies of 36 women nominees of the Nobel Peace Prize, including Jane Addams and Emily Greene Balch. Norderval also offers analysis of key questions related to peace and the policies of the Nobel Prize Committee as they relate to women.
For more information about WILPF’s history with the Nobel Peace Prize and the movement for feminist peace, access a copy of Norderval’s book and check out WILPF’s Herstory.
Stay tuned for this year’s announcement on 7 October!
We look forward to the announcement of this year’s Nobel Peace Prize winner on 7 October at 11 CEST. Make sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, where we’ll be celebrating the 2022 recipient!