Yemeni activist Karman won the prize for her work in the movement against President Ali Abdullah Saleh [AFP]

Three women who have fought against injustice, dictatorships and sexual violence in Liberia and Yemen have received the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize at a ceremony in Oslo, the Norwegian capital.

Liberian president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, compatriot Leymah Gbowee and Tawakul Karman of Yemen collected their diplomas and medals at Oslo's city hall on Saturday.

Thorbjoern Jagland, the chairman of the Nobel peace prize committee, said that the three women represented the struggle for "human rights in general and of women for equality and peace in particular".

Jagland said that the prize should serve as a warning to dictators in countries such as Yemen and Syria that their days are numbered.

"The leaders in Yemen and Syria who murder their people to retain their own power should take note of the following: mankind's quest for freedom and human rights can never stop," he said in comments before giving the prize to the three laureates.

"No dictator can in the long run find shelter from this wind of history. It was this wind which led people to crawl up onto the Berlin Wall and tear it down. It is the wind that is now blowing in the Arab world," he said.

"[Yemeni] President [Ali Abdullah] Saleh was not able and [Syrian] President [Bashar] al-Assad in Syria will not be able
to resist the people's demand for freedom and human rights," he insisted.

The three laureates, he said, represented each in their way "the most important motive forces for change in today's world, the struggle for human rights in general and the struggle of women for equality and peace in particular."

Source: Agencies