Nobel Peace Prize laureate Leymah Gbowee organized and led the women’s peace movement in Liberia, ending the Second Liberian Civil War in 2003.
What started as women praying and singing in the markets, quickly grew into a force of women standing up for positive change. Social worker Leymah Gbowee and church leader Comfort Freeman, founders of the Women in Peacebuilding Network (WIPNET), developed and led the women’s peace movement, Women of Liberia Mass Action for Peace.
"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,” their statement of intent reads. “We will not relent until peace prevails.”
With nonviolent peace protests, sit ins, and prayer from women of different faiths and religions, the peace movement forced then President Charles Taylor to begin peace talks in Ghana. This led to a free election and the governance of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the first woman to be head of state in an African nation.
Leymah continues to promote peace throughout Liberia.