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Women of Liberia Mass Action for Peace

Women of Liberia Mass Action for Peace is a peace movement started by women in Liberia, Africa that brought an end to the Second Liberian Civil War in 2003. Organized by social worker Leymah Gbowee, the movement started with local women praying and singing in a fish market.[1] Thousands of women mobilized their efforts, staged silent nonviolence protests and forced a meeting with President Charles Taylor and extracted a promise from him to attend peace talks in Ghana.[2]

A delegation of Liberian women went to Ghana to continue to apply pressure on the warring factions during the peace process. They staged a sit in outside of the Presidential Palace, blocking all the doors and windows and preventing anyone from leaving the peace talks without a resolution. The women of Liberia became a political force against violence and against their government.[3] Their actions brought about an agreement during the stalled peace talks. As a result, the women were able to achieve peace in Liberia after a 14-year civil war and later helped bring to power the country's first female head of state, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.

Leaders

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Leymah Gbowee

Leymah Gbowee and Comfort Freeman, presidents of two different Lutheran churches, organized the Women in Peacebuilding Network (WIPNET), and issued a statement of intent: "In the past we were silent, but after being killed, raped, dehumanized, and infected with diseases, and watching our children and families destroyed, war has taught us that the future lies in saying NO to violence and YES to peace! We will not relent until peace prevails." [4]

Asatu Bah Kenneth, Assistant Minister for Administration and Public Safety of the Liberian Ministry of Justice,[5] was president of the Liberia Female Law Enforcement Association at the time. Inspired by the work of the Christian women's peace initiative, she formed the Liberian Muslim Women's Organization to work for peace.[6]

The Christian and Muslim women joined forces to create Women of Liberia Mass Action for Peace. They wore white, to symbolize peace.

For her leadership, Leymah Gbowee has been awarded the Blue Ribbon for Peace by the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. She also has been chosen as a recipient of the 2009 John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award.[7]

Pray the Devil Back to Hell

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Pray the Devil Back to Hell Poster

Pray the Devil Back to Hell is a documentary film directed by Gini Reticker and produced by Abigail E. Disney. The film premiered at the 2008 Tribeca Film Festival, where it won the award for Best Documentary.[8] The film documents the heroic efforts of Women of Liberia Mass Action for Peace. The film has been used as an advocacy tool in post-conflict zones like Sudan and Zimbabwe, mobilizing African women to petition for peace and security.[9]

External links

See also

References

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