“People have gotten very afraid of women’s non-violent protest. Where no one paid attention before, and saw women as ‘toothless bulldogs,’ today you see the Jenni Williams and Jestina Mukokos of Zimbabwe being arrested as soon as they step out. They haven’t done anything that we did not do. There is [now] this recognition that, hmm, these ‘toothless bulldogs’ have some power and if we don’t stop what they’re doing we’re going to get in trouble. Every time a group of women decide they’re going to protest, the entire government is uneasy. So that’s the first thing. But the second thing is there is a global conversation going on that there is no way that peace can be negotiated, there is no way we can move from conflict to peace without the roles, the ideas, the unique skills and capacities of women.”
– Nobel Peace Prize winner Leymah Gbowee on the political power of women. Gbowee received the Nobel Peace Prize for her work organizing the Women of Liberia Mass Action for Peace, in war-torn Liberia. The movement is widely credited with helping bring the country’s longstanding civil war to an end. Watch her harrowing story, “Pray the Devil Back to Hell,” on Tuesday at 10 p.m. on PBS, part of the channel’s 5-part “Women, War and Peace” series.