Leymah Gbowee is the Newsweek Daily Beast's Africa columnist and recipient of the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize for her work in leading a women’s peace movement that brought an end to the Liberian civil war in 2003.
Gbowee shared the prize with fellow Liberian Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and Yemen-native Tawakkol Karman. Gbowee and Sirleaf became the second and third African women to win the prize, preceded by the late Wangari Maathai of Kenya.
Gbowee is cofounder and executive director of the Women Peace and Security Network, a Pan-African women’s peace-building organization based in Accra, Ghana. She is also a founding member and past coordinator of the Women in Peacebuilding Network’s (WIPNET) Liberia Chapter.
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, the most recent of which include the 2010 John Jay Medal for Justice; the 2009 Gruber Prize for Women's Rights; the 2009 John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award; and the Women's eNews 2008 Leaders for the 21st Century Award.
Gbowee's part in helping to oust Charles Taylor, the former president of Liberia and convicted war criminal, was featured in the documentary film, Pray the Devil Back to Hell. She also the author of a 2011 memoir, Mighty Be Our Powers: How Sisterhood, Prayer, and Sex Changed a Nation at War.
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