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Laymah Gbowee, a Liberian peace and women’s rights activist, is The Daily Beast’s Africa columnist. As war ravaged Liberia, Gbowee organized Christian and Muslim women to demonstrate together, founding Liberian Mass Action for Peace and launching protests and a sex strike. Her part in helping to oust Charles Taylor was featured in the documentary “Pray the Devil Back to Hell.” She is a single mother of six, including one adopted daughter, and is based in Accra, Ghana, where she is the executive director of the Women, Peace, and Security Network-Africa. She has spoken publicly numerous times on the issue of women in conflict situations and was a panelist at several regional and international conferences. In October 2007, the Women’ Leadership Board at Harvard University’ John F. Kennedy School of Government honored her with the Blue Ribbon Peace Award. This annual award is given to individuals and organizations that have made a significant contribution to peace building through innovative strategies that promote women’s leadership in peace processes on the local, national, or international level.

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