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Posts tagged ‘Sirleaf’

Sex, War & Heroes in Liberia

From Nation of Change and Gritt TV
by Laura Flanders
31 December 2011

“Nobel Peace Prize. Author of ‘Mighty Be Our Powers: How Sisterhood, Prayer, and Sex Changed a Nation at War’, Gbowee talks here about where the US and foreign NGOS go wrong in post-war countries and what there is to learn from the success of the LIberian women’s peace movement.”

Peace making is a local affair, says activist Laymeh Gbowee, co-founder of the Women’s Peace Network in Liberia in this interview with Laura Flanders recorded just weeks before Gbowee won the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize. Author of Mighty Be Our Powers: How Sisterhood, Prayer, and Sex Changed a Nation at War, Gbowee talks here about where the US and foreign NGOS go wrong in post-war countries and what there is to learn from the success of the LIberian women’s peace movement. After their success, helping to end to a decades-long civil war in 2003, the women of Liberia became heroes. But no one saw them that way at the start, says Gbowee. When they marched in the rain, camped in the blazing sun, and blockaded the doors of peace-negotiations they were confronting the warlords largely alone.

When Ellen Johnson Sirleaf was first elected, she was hailed as her continent’s first democratically elected female leader, but outsiders were skeptical about her campaign — and her chances — it was grassroots women who supported her at the start, and women who backed her re-election this year. Sirleaf, who demanded a women-only UN peace keeping force in Liberia and attention specifically to women’s empowerment as a peace-making strategy, was another winner with Gbowee of the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize. The Women’s Peace Network has now been celebrated in Abby Disney’s documentary Pray the Devil Back to Hell. (featured on GRITtv in 2009.) This is part of a longer interview. The full conversation will be featured later this year, in the upcoming Laura Flanders Show.

Watch video and interview at Nation of Change.

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