Gbowee was born in Liberia and in her teens was deeply influenced by that nation’s descent into civil war. Married with children, she faced near starvation as a young mother. She became increasingly committed to Christian peace activism and earned an undergraduate degree at Mother Patern College of Health Sciences. She used her training to help child soldiers and helped organize the Women in Peacebuilding Network and the Women of Liberia Mass Action for Peace, which brought together Christians and Muslims. She has been credited with a major role in helping to end the Liberian civil war in 2003 and since then is associated with peacebuilding through addressing trauma and seeking restorative justice. In 2007 Gbowee received a Master’s degree from Eastern Mennonite University and the Blue Ribbon for Peace from Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. In 2011, together with Tawakkol Karman and Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize “for their non-violent struggle for the safety of women and for women’s rights to full participation in peace-building work” (Nobelprize.org).
Resources & Further Reading
Gbowee, Leymah and Carol Mithers. 2011. Mighty Be Our Powers: How Sisterhood, Prayer, and Sex Changed a Nation at War. N.Y.: Beast Books.
Leymah Gbowee, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leymah_Gbowee
“Pray the Devil Back to Hell.” 2008. Documentary Film. Director Gini Reticker.
Stiehm, Judith. 2006. Champions for Peace: Women Winners of the Nobel Peace Prize. Lanham, MD.: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.
“Women Winners of the Nobel Peace Prize.” 2011. Women in World History Curriculum. http://www.womeninworldhistory.com/contemporary-03.html