22 January 2013

Liberia: Leymah Gbowee Is a Dynamic World Leader - U.S. Law School Dean Asserts

The Dean of the University of Maine School of Law in the United States, Peter Pitegoff, has asserted that Liberian Nobel Laureate Leymah Roberta Gbowee is a dynamic world leader. The U.S. law school dean's appraisal of the Nobel Laureate comes at the heels of an invitation from the University of Maine School of Law extended Madam Gbowee to address the University's second annual Justice for women Lecture in March this year.

Listen to the U.S. law school dean: "Leymah Gbowee is a dynamic world leader and inspiring speaker." In 2011, Madam Gbowee emerged joint Nobel Peace Prize winner with fellow Liberian, President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf and Yemeni Peace activist, Tawakkul Karman, for what the Norwegian Nobel Committee called an honor "for their nonviolent struggle for the safety of women and for women's rights to full participation in peace-building work."

She was instrumental in the formation of the Liberian Mass Action for Peace, an alliance of Christian and Muslim women, in public protest during Liberia's tumultuous times. She served as the group's leader during the war days in her native land-Liberia. Currently, through her organization, the Women Peace and Security Network Africa, the Nobel Laureate trains and empowers women in Africa to bring peace to their own countries.

Madam Gbowee is Forbes' reigning youngest powerful woman in Africa, according to Forbes' second-annual list of "the 20 youngest power women in Africa." She is a recipient of multiple awards including the Blue Ribbon Peace Award from Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School, Gruber Prize for Women's Rights, the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award, the Medal for Justice from New York's John Jay College of Criminal Justice, and the Women's News Leaders For the 21st Century Award.

In a statement issued early this month, Dean Pitegoff went on to say that Laureate Gbowee's life work and values fit well with the University of Maine School of Law goals for the Justice for Women Lecture Series, adding that they were honored to welcome Madam Gbowee to Maine.

The Justice for Women Lecture series is an endowed program that brings speakers to Maine each year to discuss good work and strategies to benefit women and girls, in the developing world and in Maine. The inaugural Justice for Women Lecture was delivered in March 2012 by Her Honor Unity Dow, the first woman judge to ever serve on Botswana's High Court bench.

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