Leymah Gbowee, 2011 Nobel Peace Prize winner, made a passionate plea Thursday to those who work in conflict zones around the world – to include women as equal partners in the journey toward peace.
She was speaking at the Women, Peace and Security Conference - held at the U.S. Naval War College in Newport.
Gbowee led a women’s movement that helped end Liberia’s civil war in the early 2000s.
“In 2003, even in the war in Liberia, it was the mothers in different communities who came and said, ‘Come, guns are hidden there, guns are over there,’” Gbowee said. “Without these mothers who are the keepers of the secrets of the communities, we would not have known that many of the young men who were parading by day as decent citizens, were killers by night.”
Gbowee said it's time to redefine what we mean by peace and security.
“The peace and security agenda is not just a military agenda. It is an agenda that considers people, their lives, their livelihood, their right to self-determination, their right to expression, their right to political participation,” Gbowee said.
The annual conference aims to empower women in conflict prevention and peace.