capable of being prolonged
The first African woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize (2004) was praised by the awarding committee as "a source of inspiration for everyone in Africa fighting for
sustainable development, democracy and peace."
take the lead or initiative in
pioneering academic, her role as an environmental campaigner began after she planted some trees in her back garden.
place restrictions on
This inspired her in 1977 to form an organization--primarily of women--known as the Green Belt Movement aiming to
curtail the devastating effects of deforestation and desertification.
condition in which the earth's surface is worn away
Her desire was to produce sustainable wood for fuel use as well as combating soil
make ready for action or use
Her campaign to
mobilize poor women to plant some 30 million trees has been copied by other countries.
aid or support that may be drawn upon when needed
"It took me a lot of days and nights to convince people that women could improve their environment without much technology or without much financial
exert oneself continuously or vigorously to gain an end
The Green Belt Movement went on to
campaign on education, nutrition, and other issues important to women.
conspicuous in position or importance
In the late 1980s, she became a
prominent opponent of a skyscraper planned for the middle of the Kenyan capital's main park--Uhuru Park.
spread negative information about
vilified by Kenyan President Daniel arap Moi's government but succeeded in thwarting the plans.
lacking awareness and the capacity for sensory perception
Once was beaten
unconscious by heavy-handed police.
a public display of group feelings
On another occasion she led a
demonstration of naked women.
an organization of people involved in a pact or treaty
But in elections in 2002, she was elected as MP with 98% of the votes as part of an opposition
coalition which swept to power after Mr. Moi stepped down.
drawing a comparison in order to show a similarity
Mrs. Maathai says she usually uses a biblical
analogy of creation to stress the importance of the environment.
emphasizing the organic relation between parts and the whole
The Nobel Peace Prize committee praised her for taking "a
holistic approach to sustainable development that embraces democracy, human rights and women's rights in particular."
make or write a comment on
Her former husband, whom she divorced in the 1980s, was said to have
remarked that she was "too educated, too strong, too successful, too stubborn and too hard to control."