After an unforgettable and transformational journey the Women Forging Peace delegates have returned to their respective homes to share the stories of Liberian women. The delegates – led by four Nobel Peace Laureates – listened to and learned from courageous women activists doing extraordinary things to build sustainable peace in a post-civil war setting.
Highlights of our delegation included:
- A visit with the women leaders of Rock Hill Community
- A meeting with trauma counselors at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church of Liberia
- Visits to a hospital and prison and a roundtable session with youth leaders
- A visit with the Women in Peace Building Network at alternative-justice peace huts in Totota and Walea villages
- Meetings with President Ellen Sirleaf, officials from the Justice Ministry, the Chief Prosecutor of the Sexual & Gender-Based Violence Unit, and officials from UN Women
- The Nobel Women’s Initiative press conference with Laureates Jody Williams, Shirin Ebadi and Leymah Gbowee
It became clear to us that the challenges faced by Liberians today are grave and complex. This is especially true in regards to rampant sexual violence against babies, girls and women. Those we met with continually stressed the need for transportation for police and others to collect evidence and respond to rape at the community level. Survivors also emphasized the need for effective “fast-tracking” of sexual violence cases and judicial reform.
Our aim at the Nobel Women’s Initiative is to spotlight and amplify women activist’s voices. When our delegation came to a close, we carried the messages of Liberian women to the 20th Summit of the African Union.
Amidst difficult stories and barriers to progress, so much of what we learned humbled us and brought us great joy. Women are rebuilding their lives and their communities with dignity, grace, confidence and a strong sense of justice. They are focused on the future. And Nobel Women staffer Rachel Vincent wrote, they are “welcoming home Liberians from the diaspora and getting out on the dance floor to make up for lost time.”
We are immensely grateful to our hosts, the remarkable Laureate Leymah Gbowee and staff at the Gbowee Peace Foundation of Africa, and to YOU – thank you for following our #WomenForgingPeace journey online!
Read our media release.
Visit our blog, featuring reflection posts and videos from delegates, activist spotlights, tweet transcripts from events, links to press coverage, and more!