Kenyan rights activist and environmentalist Wangari Maathai has won the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize. The Norweigan Nobel Committee said in its official press release issued Friday in Oslo that "Maathai stood up courageously against the former oppressive regime in Kenya. Her unique forms of action have contributed to drawing attention to political oppression - nationally and internationally. She has served as inspiration for many in the fight for democratic rights and has especially encouraged women to better their situation." Maathai is the first African woman to receive the Nobel award. BBC News has more, including a profile of Maathai, who is currently Kenya's deputy environment minister.