Within the two days after the accident, Betty had gathered 6,000 signatures on a petition for peace.
They organised a march to the graves of the children which was attended by 10,000 women. However, the IRA stopped it after accusing them of being ‘dupes of the British Army’. The following week it was staged again, this time with 35,000 people.
They founded the group ‘Women for Peace’ which later became the Community of Peace People.
Noone had listened to women before now, especially about the troubles.
Finally people were standing up and taking notice of women thanks to these two.
Betty Williams is the youngest Nobel Laureate to date. She was 32 when she received the award.
In 1990, Mairead won the Pacem in Terris (Peace on Earth) Award. She is also a member of the Honorary board of the International Coalition for the Decade of the culture of Peace and Nonviolence.
Betty has received the People's Peace Prize of Norway in 1976 , the Schweitzer Medallion for Courage, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Award, the Eleanor Roosevelt Award in 1984, and the Frank Foundation Child Care International Oliver Award. In 1995 she was awarded the Rotary Club International "Paul Harris Fellowship: and the Together for Peace Building Award.
She is a member of the pro-life group Consistent Life Ethic , which is against abortion, capital punishment and euthanasia.
On 20 April 2007, while participating in a protest against the construction of Israel's security fence outside the Arab settlement of Bil'in, the Israeli forces dispersed the protesters and Corrigan was hit by a rubber-coated bullet. Corrigan was also tear-gassed, and received medical treatment at an Israeli hospital.
On 30 June 2009, Corrigan was taken into custody by the Israeli military along with twenty others, including former U.S. Congress member Cynthia McKinney. She was on board a small ferry carrying humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip when Israel intercepted the vessel in the coastal waters of Gaza, allegedly controlled by Israel. From an Israeli prison, she gave a lengthy interview with Democracy Now! using her mobile phone, and was deported on 7 July 2009 to Dublin.
The two women have recently set up, along with other Nobel Laureates, The Nobel Women’s Initiative.
The other members are Shirin Ebadi (founder of the Centre for the Defence of Human Rights in Iran), Wangari Maathai (Kenya environmental and political activist), Jody Williams (an American aid worker who petitioned to ban landmines) and Rigoberta Menchu Tum (famous for winning the rights for Guatemalan people).
The six women represent Europe, North America, South America, the Middle East and Africa.
They decided to bring together their experiences in a united effort for peace with justice and equality. They want to help strengthen work being done in support of women’s rights around the world.