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Working with ex-child soldiers of Charles Taylor's army, and the girls they have taken as wives, has convinced Nobel Peace laureate Leymah Gbowee that the abuse women suffer during conflict is a reflection of the interaction between men and women, boys and girls, during peace time.
Leymah Gbowee is one of three women who have been awarded jointly this year's Nobel Peace Prize. This article was first published in May 2011.
Four years after voters in Liberia, battered by decades of dictatorship, economic ruin and civil war, elected a no-nonsense former banker and UN official, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, as their president, the country is making slow progress towards recovery. But there is still a long way to go.
When the bazooka ruled in 2003 and only the opinions of Liberian warlords and a beleaguered head of state mattered to the world community, Leymah Gbowee and seven immortal others rose to project the power of peace through non-violence.
Leymah Gbowee remembers her son asking if he could have a scrap of doughnut and having to tell him she didn't have any.
2011 Nobel peace prize was given jointly to Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, President of Liberia, Tawakkol Karman, a democratic activist and Lemah Gbowee , peace activist for their non-violent struggle for the safety of women and women's rights by peace-building work.
Allow me to first wish all of you a Happy New Year. It will not surprise you to hear me say that my special hopes are for the women of this world! I hope that this year, no matter how great the challenges we all confront, will be a year when the voices of women will be heard even more.
2011 Nobel Peace Laureate Leymah Gbowee calls herself “a local girl with a global platform.” Leymah is not only an inspiration to women in Liberia; she is a role model for women around the world. Her leadership was clearly demonstrated last month in Sri Lanka, where she met women's groups from throughout the country working on peace, security, and development.
Ten years ago on this day, a few of us—sick and tired of the Liberian civil war—joined forces and started the women of Liberia Mass Action for Peace Campaign. We had three major agenda items:
1. Immediate unconditional ceasefire
2. A fruitful dialogue by the warring parties and
3. The deployment of an intervention force.
Statement by Leymah Gbowee, WIPNET- Unifem Panel on DDRR, CSW Beijing+10. The statement is attached as a PDF-file.
Leymah Gbowee is central to the Liberian women's peace movement which contributed to ending years of bloody civil war. She is now executive director of the Women, Peace and Security Network, WIPSEN-Africa. In the award-winning documentary "Pray the Devil Back to Hell," she recounts how Liberian women moved from desperation to anger and finally to breakthrough:
Does the Security Council meet with women from civil society?
This section monitors Arria Meetings of the Security Council, which provide space for the Security Council to hear directly from civil society and other actors. It is important for the Council to receive information from independent sources on country situations and topics related to its agenda.
On May 17th, the Permanent Missions of Australia and Guatemala to the United Nations in cooperation with DPKO organized the Arria Formula meeting. The focus was on the role of gender practitioners in UN Peacekeeping Operations.
Security Council Arria Formula Meeting, 17th January 2014
Focus: Women’s participation in resolving the Syrian conflict