Betty Williams and Mairead Corrigan, winners of the 1976 Nobel Peace Prize, proved that ordinary people, united in a common desire for peace, can transform their nation and the world. Born into hard-working families in the Catholic section of Belfast, Betty and Mairead grew up amid the suspicion and bloodshed familiar to most residents of Northern Ireland. But when the violence that had torn their country apart for decades touched their own lives, these two 'ordinary' women -- a secretary and a homemaker -- knew they had to take steps to fight for peace. The grassroots movement they led brought Catholics and Protestants together in non-violent marches and demonstrations that drew tens of thousands of people -- and showed the world that Northern Ireland was a nation yearning for peace.
Sarah Buscher and Bettina Ling