Small, Small: The Importance of Women and Gender Awareness on the Road to Peace

Topics: Violence against women, Violence, Domestic violence, Liberia, Human rights, Nobel Peace Prize / Pages: 8 (1956 words) / Published: Nov 13th, 2013
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Small, Small: The Importance of Women and Gender Awareness on the Road to Peace

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Small, Small: The Importance of Women and Gender Awareness on the Road to Peace

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“If you attempt to leave this hotel before the peace accords are signed, then I shall tear off my clothes, and you shall be shamed through my nakedness”, said Leymah Gbowee, a Liberian civil rights organizer protesting unsuccessful peace talks in July 2003.[1] On August 18, 2003, the Accra Comprehensive Peace Agreement was ratified. Her unconventional methods of conflict resolution and unparalleled involvement of women in her campaign for the cessation of hostilities would bring an end to fourteen years of conflict in Liberia. Through the voices of
Liberia’s nearly two million women, she accomplished in little over one year that which had eluded others for fourteen, earning the Nobel Peace Prize in 2011.[2] In 2012, after nearly thirty years of dictatorial rule, Egypt held its first free elections in thirty years, promising reform and moderation. These nations, both victims of conflict and political turmoil, strived for peace despite overwhelming adversity and polarized society; their involvement of women in the peace building process and administration of just legislation played a pivotal role in their ultimate success or failure.
Liberia, a nation of almost four million, is today considered a center of rapid growth for women’s rights on the Africa’s western coast. However, it was not always so; from 1989-2003
Liberian citizens were caught in the crossfire of a bloody civil war. When Gbowee first organized her Women’s Mass Action for Peace, the civil war had already claimed 200,000 civilian lives.[3] In 2005, Liberia elected Ellen J. Sirleaf, the first female African President, to office.[4] At the time of the first protest, Gbowee’s Liberia was one of terror and systemized violence towards women. During the civil war,



Cited: CBC News Indepth: Liberia." CBCnews. CBC/Radio Canada, n.d. Web. 30 Apr. 2013. 2012. Web. 30 Apr. 2013. Web. 30 Apr. 2013. "Profile: Hosni Mubarak." BBC News. BBC, 13 Apr. 2013. Web. 30 Apr. 2013.

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