Woman of Faith: Leymah Gbowee

August is designated as Women's Month in South Africa and we are  celebrating the amazing, inspiring women who make the beautiful continent of ours a better place in little or big ways.

We owe a huge debt to the women who have opened the doors through which we now walk.

One such woman of faith is Leymah Gbowee. She is one of three recipients of the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize.  She is a fierce champion of women's empowerment around the world.

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As a young woman, Leymah Gbowee was broken by the Liberian civil war, a brutal conflict that tore apart her life and claimed the lives of countless relatives and friends. Years of fighting destroyed her country—and shattered Gbowee’s girlhood hopes and dreams. As a young mother trapped in a nightmare of domestic abuse, she found the courage to turn her bitterness into action, propelled by her realization that it is women who suffer most during conflicts—and that the power of women working together can create an unstoppable force.

Leymah Gbowee, who'd become a social worker during the first war, helped organize an interreligious coalition of Christian and Muslim women called the Women of Liberia Mass Action for Peace movement. Dressed in white, these thousands of women staged pray-ins and nonviolent protests demanding reconciliation and the resuscitation of high-level peace talks. The pressure pushed Charles Taylor into exile, and smoothed the path for the election of Africa’s first female head of state, Leymah's fellow 2011 Nobel Peace laureate Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.

Woman of Faith: Leymah Gbowee


Leymah is the author of Mighty Be Our Powers. She expresses devotion to her Christian faith. She opened the acknowledgment section of her memoir with these words:

"All praise, glory and honor to God for His unfailing love and favor toward me." She told students attending an EMU chapel in 2009:
I didn't get there by myself... or anything I did as an individual, but it was by the grace and mercy of God.... He has held my hands. In the most difficult of times, he has been there. They have this song, "Order my steps in your ways, dear Lord," and every day as I wake up, that is my prayer, because there's no way that anyone can take this journey as a peace builder, as an agent of change in your community, without having a sense of faith.... As I continue this journey in this life, I remind myself: All that I am, all that I hope to be, is because of God."

Visit her Leymah Gbowee's website here.   You can buy Mighty Be Our Powers at Amazon or at Kalahari.com

We Salute you Leymah and thank God for you.

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