From 1998 to 2004, Friends of Liberia has administered a
UNDP grant to the African Women and Peace Support Group, resulting
in an important publication, Liberian Women Peacemakers, launched at
the United Nations Church Center in New York on March 6, 2004.
The book tells the important but little known story of how
Liberian women worked for peace during and following the years of
conflict from 1989 to 1997 and up to the peace agreement achieved in
2003. The narrative is based on interviews with Liberian women
peace activists, carried out by six Liberian women journalists and
complemented by research and discussions with many other Liberian NGO
leaders and peace activists. The story documents women's views of
the war, their activities as survivors, providers and healers, their
persistence in demonstrations in the street and in promoting
disarmament, their networking locally and internationally, their
determined efforts to get to the peace tables and finally their
successes in affecting the peace settlements.
The book includes excerpts from many of the interviews and
the publication's authors (who include FOL Board Member Jane Martin)
have stressed the fact that Liberian Women
Peacemakers provides only a
partial look at the many women engaged in peace actions. There is
much more to be done in recognizing and revealing the role that
women played and continue to play in peace building in Liberia.
The publication is available through Africa World Press,
P.O. Box 1892, Trenton, NJ 08607. Copies have been made available to
Liberian women's organizations and women in other African countries
and to policy makers. The goals of the African Women and Peace
Support group have been to encourage and inform African women of
such peace actions and to urge policy makers to work on their
Professor of History, University of Liberia 1972-76
Executive Director, U.S. Educational and Cultural
Foundation in Liberia, 1984-1989
Volunteer Curator of African Art, Everhart Museum, Scranton PA.