Jody Williams

Field: Human Rights; War and Sustainable Peace; Relations between Nations

Position & Organization: Chairwoman, Nobel Women’s Initiative

How did you get started in this field? I was at university during the Vietnam protests, the civil rights movement and the reemergence of the women’s movement. These events politicized me and helped shape my view of the world. They led me to a life of activism for the “greater good,” not just for people who think like I do.

What do you like about your work? That every day, in ways sometimes big but often small, I work with an international network of activists who also believe in trying to make the world a better place for us all.

What do you not like about your work? If you let it, the work can carry you away with it and that can lead to burn out. Finding balance in a lifetime of activism is a huge struggle.

Do you have an advice for women who want to enter this field? If I have advice, it would be to be clear about who you want to be in your life and what you stand for — and then go for it.

What makes you hopeful for the future? The amazing young people around the world who are seizing the moment now to push hard to stop climate change. To stop gun violence. To stop violence against women. To support human rights and diversity of all kinds.

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