Liberia

War Prepared Women's Role In Solving Conflicts

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NEW YORK, UN (PANA) - Though it wrought untold damage while it lasted, the seven-year Liberian war also prepared women to play a more active role in the affairs of their country, a peace activist, Mary Brownell, has said.
She told at a news conference in New York Wednesday during the launching of a book, "Women At The Peace Table", that the level of violence that women experienced or witnessed during the war compelled them to come to centre stage of peace efforts.

At the beginning of the war, she said, women were more engaged in humanitarian activities but as peace talks dragged on with little progress, the women found the need to come out and get involved.

It was at this time that the organisation of which she is president, Liberian Women's Initiative, was born.

As usual, the men did not take their efforts seriously, she said, adding that such an attitude did not discourage the women as they continued to rally and keep the international community informed of what was happening in the country.

"If there is any semblance of peace in Liberia today, it is through our efforts as women," she remarked.

The Liberian civil war which began in 1989 ended in 1997 when an elected government was installed.

Brownell said Liberian women have made great strides as they are now in government and the legislature and head government agencies.

The book on the role of women in peace-making has been published by the UN Fund For Women.

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