Leymah Gbowee is a recipient of the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize. She is one of Africa’s leading peace and women’s rights activists. As war ravaged Liberia, Leymah Gbowee realized it was women who bear the greatest burden in prolonged conflicts. She began organizing Christian and Muslim women to demonstrate together, founding Liberian Mass Action for Peace and launching protests and a sex strike. Gbowee’s work in helping to oust Charles Taylor was featured in the documentary Pray the Devil Back to Hell.
In September 2011 Gbowee released an acclaimed memoir of the war, “Mighty Be our Powers: How Sisterhood, Prayer and Sex changed a Nation at War”. Gbowee is Africa columnist for the Daily Beast. In 2007 Gbowee was awarded the Blue Ribbon for Peace (2007) by Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and, with the women of Liberia, received the Profiles in Courage Award (2009) from the Kennedy Library Foundation. Gbowee is the executive director of the Women Peace and Security Network Africa, a women’s peace-building organization, that acts to build relationships across Africa’s conflict zones in support of women’s capacity to prevent, avert, and end conflicts. She holds a master’s degree in conflict transformation from Eastern Mennonite University in Harrisonburg, Va. and is the mother of six.