The Nobel Peace Prize 2011
Born: 1 February 1972, Monrovia, Liberia
Residence at the time of the award: Liberia
Prize motivation: “for their non-violent struggle for the safety of women and for women's rights to full participation in peace-building work”
Prize share: 1/3
Mobilized women across religious dividing lines
Leymah Gbowee was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for her non-violent efforts to promote peace and her struggle for women’s rights.
In 1990 civil war broke out in Liberia. Leymah Gbowee underwent training in trauma therapy in order to take care of traumatised child soldiers. In 2002, she organised the grass roots movement, Women of Liberia Mass Action for Peace, which held meetings at which Christian and Muslim women jointly presented a non-violent message of peace. These demonstrations were instrumental in pressuring President Charles Taylor to sign a peace agreement in 2003.
Leymah Gbowee then spearheaded efforts to mobilise Liberian women to vote for Ellen Johnson Sirleaf in the 2005 presidential elections. This support was a crucial factor in Sirleaf’s election victory. In 2008, Gbowee played a key role in the award-winning documentary film “Pray the Devil Back to Hell” on women’s unique struggle during the Liberian civil war.
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