Biography of Leymah Roberta GBOWEELiberia > Social : Leymah Roberta GBOWEE
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Born on 06/01/1972 (format : day/month/year)Biography :
Leymah Roberta Gbowee born Born January 6, 1972 a Liberian Social Worker by Profession, is now the executive director of the Women Peace and Security Network based in Ghana.
She has been jointly adjudged winner of the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize.
She won the Prize together with Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, President of Liberia and a woman peace activist Tawakkul Karman of Yemen. The award serves to highlight Ms. Gbowee’s work in mobilizing women across ethnic and religious divides to end the decade-long Liberian civil war.They were the first women to win the prize since Wangari Maathai of Kenya, who died in September 2011, was named as the laureate in 2004.
She is an author of Mighty Be Our Powers: How Sisterhood, Prayer, and Sex Changed a Nation at War, published by Beast Books. As war ravaged Liberia, Leymah Gbowee realized it is women who bear the greatest burden in prolonged conflicts. She began organizing Christian and Muslim women to demonstrate together, founding Liberian Mass Action for Peace and launching protests and a sex strike. Gbowee’s work in helping to oust Charles Taylor was featured in the documentary Pray the Devil Back to Hell.
Gbowee, 39, lives in Ghana with her six children.
Born in a village in central Liberia in 1972, the head of the Ghana-based Women Peace and Security Network (WPSN) was soon exposed to two civil wars that affected her country from 1989 until 2003, when peace was achieved.
Deeply affected by the violence, she trained as a trauma counsellor, working among girls and women raped by militiamen.
Mrs Gbowee also thrust herself into political activism, rallying women to campaign for an end to the violence in Liberia.
Her crowning achievement came in 2003 when she brought thousands of women together to protests in the capital, Monrovia, helping to push Mr Taylor - who is now on trial at The Hague on war crimes charges - out of power and end the conflict. Mrs Gbowee even suggested the women might go on a sex strike in a bid to bring the warring men to their senses. "Their message to the men was that they can't go and kill mothers and daughters and then come home o expect sex".
In its citation, the Nobel Committee said it had chosen her because she "mobilised and organised women across ethnic and religious dividing lines to bring an end to the long war in Liberia, and to ensure women's participation in elections. She has since worked to enhance the influence of women in West Africa during and after war"
Ms. Gbowee has received numerous international honors for her peace-building work. In 2007, The Women's Leadership Board at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government recognized Ms. Gbowee with the Blue Ribbon Peace Award. This annual award is given to individuals and organizations that have made a significant contribution to peacebuilding through innovative strategies that promote women's leadership in peace processes on the local, national, or international level. In 2009, Ms. Gbowee and the women of Liberia were given the Profiles in Courage Award by the Kennedy Library Foundation.
Last update : 11/26/2015Update this page