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Women's peace movement helps end war in Liberia

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Women's peace movement helps end war in Liberia

Caroline Kennedy presents Leymah Gbowee the John F. Kennedy Profiles in Courage Award during a ceremony in May, 2009.

AP/Lisa Poole

Leymah Gbowee ( Bowie ) is the co-founder of Liberian Mass Action for Peace, and one of three winners of the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize.

Gbowee, who organized a group of Christian and Muslim women to challenge Liberia's warlords, was honored for mobilizing women "across ethnic and religious dividing lines to bring an end to the long war in Liberia, and to ensure women's participation in elections."

Gbowee has long campaigned for the rights of women and against rape. In 2003, she led hundreds of female protesters through Monrovia to demand swift disarmament of fighters who preyed on women throughout Liberia during 14 years of near-constant civil war.

Today, she works in Ghana's capital as the director of Women Peace and Security Network Africa. The group's website says she is a mother of five.

"I know Leymah to be a warrior daring to enter where others would not dare," said Gbowee's assistant, Bertha Amanor. "So fair and straight, and a very nice person."

In 2009, Gbowee and Bisi Adeleye-Fayemi, executive director and co-founder of the African Women's Development Fund, joined Worldview host Jerome McDonnell for an in-depth conversation about the women's peace movement in Liberia.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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