Who is she?
Leymah Gbowee is a Liberian Nobel Peace Prize winner who led a women’s peace movement that ended the second civil war in Liberia. Just after the war erupted, she trained and worked as a trauma counselor, working with child soldiers who were trained and forced into combat throughout the conflict.
What did she do?
She joined an organization called Women in Peacebuilding Network (WIPNET) which was comprised entirely of women and focused only on building peace in the region. Through that organization, she led peaceful protests to convince the Liberian president to hold peace talks to try to end the civil war. Alongside hundreds of other women, Gbowee attended the resulting peace talks and put pressure on both sides to lay down their weapons and work towards resolution. Through peaceful protests and negotiation, the war was ended in 2003 and Leymah Gbowee won a Nobel Peace Prize for her efforts.
Why does she matter?
Gbowee and her fellow female leaders proved two important things to the world: 1) peaceful protests and negotiation can work in the most heinous of situations, and 2) women can organize and mobilize in incredibly powerful ways that can truly change our world for the better.