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2009 Women's Rights Prize

Leymah Gbowee

Laureate Profile

Leymah Gbowee has been executive director of Women in Peace and Security Network – Africa (WIPSEN – Africa) since 2006. She helped bring an end to a seemingly intractable civil war by mobilizing Christian and Muslim women in a collaborative resistance movement that was able, through sit-ins and other acts of resistance, to get President Charles Taylor to meet with rebel groups at the peace table in Ghana and eventually agree to peace terms. The story of Gbowee and her peacebuilding network is told in an award-winning documentary, Pray the Devil Back to Hell. Gbowee has received the Blue Ribbon for Peace from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government and a “Leaders for the 21st Century” Award from Women’s eNews. She holds an M.A. in Conflict Transformation from Eastern Mennonite University in Harrisonburg, Virginia.