Black People : African Women:Battling War/Striving For Peace

Discussion in 'Black People Open Forum' started by cherryblossom, Oct 29, 2009.

  1. cherryblossom

    cherryblossom Banned MEMBER

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    PRAY THE DEVIL BACK TO HELL

    June 19, 2009

    The JOURNAL profiles Leymah Gbowee, a woman who led her fellow countrywomen to fight for and win peace in war-torn Liberia, and Abigail Disney, who produced the documentary of their struggle and triumph in the award-winning film PRAY THE DEVIL BACK TO HELL.

    For 15 years Liberia was gripped by civil war between the government of the corrupt and ruthless Charles Taylor, and warlords battling to overthrow him. More than 200,000 people had been killed and one out of three were made homeless.

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    Leymah Gbowee and her countrywomen were so desperate they decided to try and put a stop to the fighting. Armed with only a simple white t-shirt, they took to the streets knowing they could well be beaten and killed. They became "the market women," cajoling the fighting men and employing a tactic so old it was once used by the women of ancient Greece: No peace, no sex.

    Ultimately, Charles Taylor was toppled from power and banished from Liberia. The country then elected a new president, the first woman head of state in Africa, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.

    Find out more about Liberia's history
    Find out more about Ellen Johnson Sirleaf
    Find out more about women and peace movements
    Leymah Gbowee
    Leymah Gbowee was a 17-year-old girl when the war first came to Monrovia. As she says, she turned, "from a child into an adult in a matter of hours." As the war dragged on, Gbowee had difficulty focusing on anything but her thwarted opportunities to go to college, and out of bitterness she dodged any political or social involvement. But as time wore on she came to see that it would be up to the citizens of Liberia, especially its women, to bring the country back from the insanity of civil war. She trained as a trauma counselor and worked with the ex-child soldiers of Taylor's army. The more she worked with them the more she came to see that they too were victims.
    Gbowee joined the Woman in Peacebuilding Network (WIPNET) and quickly rose to leadership thanks to her leadership and organizing skills. She brought all the women of the Christian churches together into a group called the Christian Womens' Initiative and began issuing a series of calls for peace. Soon she formed a coalition with the women in the Muslim organizations in Monrovia and eventually Liberian Mass Action for Peace came into being.

    Under Gbowee's leadership the group managed to force a meeting with Charles Taylor and extract a promise from him to attend peace talks in Ghana. She then led a delegation of Liberian women to Ghana to continue to apply pressure on the warring factions during the peace process.

    Gbowee has since been awarded the Blue Ribbon for Peace by Harvard's Kennedy School of Government. She also has been chosen as a recipient of the 2009 John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award. In July 2009, the Celebrate Africa 2009 committee will honor Gbowee and WIPNET during their annual celebration in Philadelphia at the African–American Museum.

    Gbowee is currently building Women, Peace and Security Africa, a women's organization in Ghana that will act to build relationships across the West African sub- region in support of women's capacity to prevent, avert and end conflicts. She serves as executive director of the organization.

    http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/06192009/profile.html




     
  2. cherryblossom

    cherryblossom Banned MEMBER

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