Leymah Gbowee has had a lifelong commitment to social justice, sustainable development, and community transformation through women’s empowerment and engagement. She is cofounder and executive director of the Women Peace and Security Network (WIPSEN-Africa), a Pan-African women’s peace-building organization based in Accra, Ghana. She is a founding member and past coordinator of the Women in Peacebuilding Network’s (WIPNET) Liberia Chapter. During her tenure as coordinator of WIPNET, she organized collaborative peacebuilding initiatives for a network of women peacebuilders called the Women of Liberia Mass Action for Peace Campaign.
Gbowee has presented on several regional and international panels, including the United Nations Security Council’s Arria Formula Meeting on women, peace, and security; Wilton Park Conference on Sexual Violence in London; and at an EU/UNIFEM conference on implementing United Nations Security Council resolutions in peacekeeping missions.
Gbowee is the recipient of several international awards, including the Blue Ribbon for Peace Award from the Women’s Leadership Board of the Kennedy School of Government of Harvard University; the White House Project Culture Changers Award; and she and the women of Liberia were awarded the Profiles in Courage Award from the Kennedy Library Foundation. Gbowee is also a leader in the New York-based Sadie Nash Leadership Project, which works with young, inner-city girls in New York and New Jersey. She is the central character of the award-winning documentary film Pray the Devil Back to Hell.
What People are Saying About Leymah Gbowee
“Leymah Gbowee got tired of watching her children suffer. One night, she had a dream in which the women of Liberia gathered to pray for peace. Inspired by her dream, she organized a group of women from Christian churches to call for peace. That small act of courage started a movement that spread from woman to woman, from faith to faith, and from family to family.”
—Caroline Kennedy, author of Profiles in Courage for Our Time