HAPPY NATIONAL WOMEN’S HISTORY MONTH!
Who are some of your favorite women in history or making history?
I read with dismay and immense pain in my heart and the pit of my stomach the horrific shooting and killing of 20 kids and 6 adults in Newtown, Conn.
As a mother I can’t begin to imagine the pain the parents of those children are going through. Young people who should have been future doctors, lawyers, peacebuilders and even teachers are all gone too soon. Many questions will be asked, many fingers will be pointed at different sources.
Many questions comes to my mind as I sit in my bedroom watching CNN and reading thorough every article on the subject at almost 3 am in Africa. A place also where many mothers have lost their kids to larger scale gun violence; most recently DR Congo as rebel took over Goma and Juba, South Sudan as protesters predominantly students protested land ownership.
Do we need all these guns to keep us safe?
Do we need to constantly stock pile weapons to show strength? Haven’t we learned that “no instrument of death can keep us safe”? when will we learn that the proliferation of guns in any community is setting that community up for future disaster.
As America and the world mourn the death of these children and children in parts of the world that have died in gun related violence, I believe that it is time now more than ever before for mothers to resist the culture of violence.
I believe it is upon the mothers of America now to raise their voices and oppose the gun culture. It is time for them to call on their leaders to put stronger laws on access to guns. It is time for mothers of America to ensure that these children’s deaths will began a new revolution opposing the “Crazy Gun culture”.
My sincere and heartfelt sympathy goes out to you all and my prayers are with you."
2012 Nobel Peace Laureate
After holding her silence, fellow laureate Gbowee decided she could not do so in good conscience any more, quitting her position as head of the government’s Peace and Reconciliation Commission and launching a scathing attack on the president’s record.
“I’ve been through a process of really thinking and reflecting and saying to myself ‘you’re as bad as being an accomplice for things that are happening in the country if you don’t speak up,’” she told the BBC. “And when tomorrow history is judging us all let it be known that we spoke up and we didn’t just sit down.”
Gbowee’s criticism focused on two areas: first, the nepotism of Sirleaf’s government, symbolized perfectly by the high positions occupied by three of her sons. Robert is head of the state oil company and a senior economic advisor; Fumba is head of the National Security Agency; and Charles is deputy governor of the Central Bank (although he is currently suspended for failing to declare his assets).
Second, Gbowee thinks Sirleaf has not done enough to address poverty in Liberia. “In her first term she developed infrastructure. But what good is infrastructure if people don’t have enough to eat? The gap between the rich and poor is growing. You are either rich or dirt poor, there’s no middle class.”
Gbowee’s comments will hurt Sirleaf all the more because the civil society activist was once one of the president’s firmest allies. The independent Liberia Analyst newspaper described Gbowee as a “former Sirleaf fanatic” who helped campaign for the president in 2005 and 2011.
While the criticism might come as a surprise to the international community, it’s nothing new in Liberia. “The issues raised by Gbowee are discussed in every sector of Liberian society,” said an official with an international NGO operating in Liberia, speaking to Daily Maverick. “There have been public outcries for months if not years that all the top positions in the government are friends and family. Corruption has overshadowed the country. And the gap between rich and poor is huge. Cabinet ministers have monthly allowances of $30,000 per month, while the average civil servant makes $100.”
“If one woman is hurt, all women are hurt — there is no here and there about it, says 2011 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Leymah Gbowee. Women’s issues are part of a worldwide discussion, and not something to be pinpointed in societies where we see it more prevalent, according to Gbowee, who founded the Liberian Mass Action for Peace and took part in ousting Charles Taylor from Liberian presidency. Learn more about Leymah Gbowee on her website.
I admire Gbowee so much for her constant reminder that channeling ANGER is POWERFUL. We have to yield our rage and passion against oppressive forces. As women, we’re conditioned to be polite. Anger is not polite. Anger is honest. The truth can be transformative. Stop repressing. Start protesting. Love you, Leymah.Source: reasonedoverreaction
Check out the Half the Sky movement at http://www.halftheskymovement.org/
If one woman is hurt, all women are hurt. There is no “here and there” about it. - Leymah Gbowee
"The opposition did not know how to embrace our brokenness." - Leymah Gbowee, on nonviolence