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246 pages, Paperback
First published January 1, 2011
"I read the Politics of Jesus [by Yoder], which talked of Christ as a revolutionary, fighting injustice and giving a voice to the powerless. I read Martin Luther King Jr. and Gandhi and the Kenyan author and conflict and reconciliation expert Hizkias Assefa, who believed that reconciliation between victim and perpetrator was the only way to really resolve conflict, especially civil conflict, in the modern world. Otherwise, Assefa wrote, both remained bound together forever, one waiting for apology or revenge, the other fearing retribution."Driven by her growing passion for her new found cause she helped organize and led the Women In Peace Building Network (WIPNET). This organization organized a coalition of Christian and Muslim women to stage mass actions to call for an end to violence and demand that there be peace. They confronted Liberia's ruthless president and rebel warlords in ways that only the mothers of Liberia could have done without being shot on the spot.
"A war of fourteen years doesn't just go away. In the moments we were calm enough to look around, we had to confront the magnitude of what had happened to Liberia. Two hundred and fifty thousand people were dead, a quarter of them children. One in three were displaced, with 350,000 living in internally displaced persons camps and the rest anywhere they could find shelter. One Million people, mostly women and children, were at risk of malnutrition, diarrhea, measles and cholera because of contamination in the wells. More than 75 percent of the country's physical infrastructure, our roads, hospitals and schools, had been destroyed."After the war, WIPNET was very much involved in securing the peace. "Peace isn't a moment, it's a very long process." Gbowee's post-war reputation for peace building now made her in demand as a speaker at international conferences. This exposure broadened her horizons, and she began to study techniques of reconciliation and peace. She is very complimentary of Eastern Mennonite University (EMU) in Virginia where she earned a Master's Degree in conflict transformation studies. The movie, "Pray the Devil Back to Hell," allowed the whole world to learn about the peace building activities of the women in Liberia. This book must have been written prior to her winning the Nobel Peace Prize because I don't recall any mention of it in this book.