Wangari Maathai as a child was already an iconoclast. She was determined to get an education although most girls in her village were uneducated. She studied with the Catholic missionaries. She earned her bachelors and Masters Degree in America and was the first woman in East and Central Africa to earn a PhD and went on to head a university department in Kenya. She had numerous battles with the Moi government. The personal and political reasons prompter her to establish a Green Belt movement in 1977 which spread from Kenya and to most parts of Africa to help re establish native forests and paying the women to plant the trees in their own village.
The determination and extraordinary courage shown by Maathai transformed the government of Kenya into a democratic government in which she is now serving as an assistant minister for the environment and a Member of Parliament. She received the Nobel peace prize in gratitude of her contribution to sustainable peace, human rights and development.
In her book Unbowed, she offers an inspiring message of prosperity and hope through being self sufficient. Being jailed four times and been hit on the head twice, she hasn't been living a peaceful life for a person who has won the Nobel peace prize. ...
Education changes her whole life. Most African girls being uneducated, she went to elementary school and high school and in 1960 was one of the many Kenyans who went to study in United State colleges. She earned a B.S degree in Biology from Mouth St Scholastica College in Atchison Kansas and than M.S in Biological Science from University of Pittsburg. She became the first woman to earn a PhD in Anatomy from the University of Nairobi and later on became the head of department of Veterinary Anatomy in the same university and later became an associate professor. In 1977 she started the Green Belt movement to facilitate women in planting trees in their villages to battle against soil erosion, lack of water and deforestation.
Things got bad for her. Her husband was unable to handle an increasingly powerful wife, extremely educated, too successful and hard to control. Eventually he left her in 1977 and publicly accused her of cruelty and adultery. At that time divorce was granted in cases of cruelty, insanity, mental torture and adultery. After being granted a divorce she accused the judge as being corrupt or incompetent. She was charges with disrespecting the court and was jailed. She writes about her divorce:
"[A]s I like to tell people, 'Failing is not a crime.' What is important is that if you fail you have the energy and the will to pull yourself up and keep going."
For more than thirty years her life was devoted to fight for the rights of human and justice to the environment in Africa as the initiator of the Green Belt Movement both as a Chairman of the National Council of Women in Kenya and as a member as a founding member of Grassroots Organization Operation Together in Sisterhood (GROOTS) and as a co Chair of the