Sorry about the hiatus on blog posts. Whitman was off for winter holidays.
Don’t worry though; our enthusiasm to learn about social change did not dampen, even over break. We read the award winning book Mighty Be Our Powers: How Sisterhood, Prayer, and Sex Changed a Nation at War, by Leymah Gbowee.
If you’ve never read the book, we highly recommend it. Leymah Gbowee will be a keynote speaker at the Summit conference in April, and her story is both heartbreaking and inspiring.
I waited to write this blog post until after we’d discussed the book during the GHU portion of our meeting. Our discussions all went off of three questions: Why does this story sound so unique? How to organizations, such as the UN, aid warring regions without becoming too involved, or wrongly involved? If you could ask Leymah Gbowee one question, what would it be?
These questions are interconnected. Gbowee lived through fourteen years of war and a abusive marriage, and instead of backing down she rose up and encouraged women to rise against the oppression and abuse faced, to let their voices be heard. The sex strikes she lead empowered women to take a stand and, for the first time, the people listened. She personally confronted the former Liberian president Charles Taylor. Gbowee stands out as a clear leader, accomplishing things for her country in a way no one could have anticipated, without much help from the UN.
We want to ask her:
You changed your perspective, going from depression to finding courage and inspiration to empower women. What advice would you give to repressed women who want to do the same?
What gets you up in the mornings? What keeps you strong and spirited even in the face of oppression and fear?
How would you approach peaceful solutions in other warring counties? How applicable is your movement to different situations?
As a woman fighting for women, how do you think the Liberia’s female president, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, represents your movement? Does she measure up to the high standards you’ve set for her role?
What would you ask her?