The Informer (Monrovia)

Liberia: UNESCO Lauds Liberian Women Non-Violent Role - Says Josephus Gray's Book On Women, Media Is Instructive

The Assistant Director-General for Africa Development of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Madam Lalla Aicha Ben Barka has praised Liberian women essential role in peace building, while the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Liberia, Mr. Augustine Kpehe Ngafuan has spoken of the meaningful contributions of Liberian in the peace process.

In an official communicated to Mr. Josephus Moses Gray, dated 7 January 2013, Madam Aicha Ben Barka said President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf being elected as the first women President of a Republic in Africa and, 2011, the Nobel Prize winner for her 'non-violent struggle for the safety of women and for women's rights to full participation in peace-building works.'

She said Liberia clearly holds dear the importance of women in Africa's development and in building of peace on the continent, and added that: On behalf of the Director General, I wish to thanks you Mr. Gray for your letter of November 27 2012, by which you transmitted a copy of your book entitled "Liberia's Emerging Democracy: the Role of Women and the Media".

The UNESCO Assistant Director for Africa Development further indicated in the letter that Mr. Gray's book is very instructive on the recent history of Liberia and the peace process that has emerged; the book underlines the prime importance of women in building peace, as well as the one of independent media.

"As you are aware, UNESCO supports both, particularly in conflict and post-conflict situation", the letter with reference ADG/AFR/CEP/12/L. 8094 concludes.

In a related development, Foreign Minister Augustine Ngafuan has spoken of the important contributions of Liberian women in conflict resolution. The Minister spokes Mr. Babar Silar who proxy for him.

Mr. Babar Silar on behalf of the Foreign Minister said that he was happy that someone has taken up the task to document the role of Liberian women and the media in democratic dispensation, describing the initiative as laudable and,said it should be applauded by all Liberians.

He praised Mr. Gray for the publication of the book entitled "Liberia's Emerging Democracy: the Role of Women and the Media, disclosing disclosed that the Minister and the staff of the Ministry are proud of Mr. Gray's achievement. He challenged other Liberians to match the fine visible accomplishments of Mr. Gray who works at the Embassy of Liberia in France as a Political Counsellor.

Speaking further,Mr. Babar Silar, proxy assured Mr. Gray of the Ministry support, stressing that he has made the Foreign Ministry and the people of Liberia proud.

The Foreign Minister's proxy who was well eloquent congratulates Mr. Gray for the book and said the role of Liberian women and the media in democratic dispensation highlighted in the book is commendable. He spoke recently in Monrovia at the headquarters of the Press Union of Liberia on Clay Street in Central Monrovia where Mr. Gray formally launched his new book entitled "Liberia's Emerging Democracy: the Role of Women and the Media."

The book discusses the central role of Liberian women and in particular comments on the vigorous contributions of several Liberian women including President Johnson-Sirleaf, while other Liberian women whose contributions highlighted in the book are Mary Brownell, a respectable woman and peace campaigner; Senator Ruth Sando Perry, former chair of the Six-man Council of State and Madam Roberta Leymah Gbowee, peace campaigner and a joint winner of the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize.

According to Mr. Gray, in his research, he has discovered how several young women resorted to fight to protect themselves from abuses such as rape, violence, murder and a harsh labor regime while other war affected women were held hostage and used as 'combat-wives' of warlords and fighters against their will.

It highlights Liberian women as actors and not merely victims of conflict and discusses the strategies the women used effectively and points to their role in building bridges across society through grassroots peace building initiatives and in bringing former warlords to the peace table.

The book also shows how Liberian journalists performed a critical role in bringing mayhems and atrocities committed during the heat of the war to light but also document how the journalists paid a greater price.

The Book is a real fascinating and compelling eyewitness account of the author and gives true insights of Liberia's dark days of 14-year turmoil and the amazing role of Liberian women and the local media in the obtainment of genuine peace and the restoration of law. The publication also highlights the immense contributions of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the enormous sacrifices made by Nigeria and loses sustained to bring peace and stability to Liberia.

The publication covers a wild range of issues including the current status of the emerging democracy in Liberia and catalogues the key role of three of the nine ECOMOG Force Commanders, especially the three courageous Nigerian Generals including Maj-Gen. Joshua Dogonyaro,Brig-Gen.Adetunji IdowuOlurin and Brig-Gen Victor Malu. These three generals leave an irreplaceable mark in the history of Liberia, the author pinpointed.

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