The 2011 Nobel Peace Prize recipient Leymah Gbowee, a sister Lutheran from Liberia, is no stranger to speaking out about women’s issues. She has been a key leader and organizer in the struggle to end the civil war in Liberia that began in 1989.
In the award-winning documentary “Pray the Devil Back to Hell,” she is a main character, showing the women how they must speak up for peace. Gbowee organized collaborative peace-building initiatives for a network of women peace builders from nine of Liberia’s 15 counties.
According to Gbowee, there is a trend of hosting international conferences on peace where women are invited to speak from their experiences. Many resolutions are created, but they don’t result in policy changes. Conversation and policy papers are generated, but women become disheartened because nothing much happens.
Despite her frustrations, Gbowee said she is a “serious optimist” about women changing their communities. “I want to help people work through their trauma,” she said. Women need to be part of the process of rebuilding their communities, said Gbowee.
So many women face seemingly insurmountable issues on a daily basis. How can you speak out for peace, at home and abroad? Are you ready to make a difference?
Today we remember Hildegard, Abbess of Bingen (1179). This message was adapted from “Speaking Out” by Jodi Deike that appeared in the January/February 2011 issue of Lutheran Woman Today (now Gather) magazine. If you are reading “Daily Grace” online, sign up to receive it by email daily.