Profile: Leymah Gbowee wins Nobel Peace Prize (Video)


Nobel Peace Prize winner Leymah Gbowee is shown here attending the premiere of the documentary "Pray The Devil Back To Hell" during the 2008 Tribeca Film Festival on April 24, 2008, in New York City.


Gary Gershoff

After years of a brutal civil war in Liberia, Leymah Gbowee and the thousands of women she led changed history through of series of nonviolent protests and sit-ins in Liberia.

On Friday the 39-year-old African activist was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize to honor her work organizing Liberian women of different faiths and ethnicities to pray for peace and to protest to bring an end to the Second Liberian Civil War, according to ABC News.

The West African nation endured a brutal 14-year-long civil war that killed around 250,000 people and created thousands of refugees, the BBC reported.

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Even as the war was raging around them, Gbowee — who is a trained trauma counselor and mother of six —and other Liberian women prayed and protested daily for former President Charles Taylor to give up his power.

She also organized a sex strike against the men, urging them to do their part to end the violence. Scroll down to see a Colbert video about the sex strike.

BBC reported:

Her crowning achievement came in 2003 when she brought thousands of women together to protests in the capital, Monrovia, helping to push Mr Taylor - who is now on trial at The Hague on war crimes charges - out of power.

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"For weeks, women - Christians and Muslim - protested. They were at a market square and at the presidential building. They prayed. They marched. They staged a sit-in. They wanted the war to end, and they were not going to leave until it ended," said Bertha Amanor, Gbowee’s personal assistant.

Gbowee is now the executive director of the Women Peace and Security Network based in Ghana. Her book, Mighty Be Our Powers: How Sisterhood, Prayer, and Sex Changed a Nation at War, tells the story of how women helped to end the conflict in Liberia.

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Gbowee is also a key figure in the award-winning feature Pray the Devil Back to Hell, a documentary about the struggle to end the civil war, Forbes reported.

Two other women share the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize with Gbowee. They are Yemeni human rights activist Tawakul Karman and Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.