Leymah Gbowee

Activist Type

Leymah Gbowee, a Liberian social worker and peace activist, gained international recognition when she, along with Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and Tawakkul Karman, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2011 for their non-violent struggle to promote women's safety and participation in peace-building efforts. Born in central Liberia in 1972, Gbowee's life was disrupted by the First Liberian Civil War, leading her to become a trauma counselor for former child soldiers. She is renowned for her pivotal role in ending the Second Liberian Civil War through a non-violent movement that united Christian and Muslim women to demand peace talks. This led to the election of Africa's first female head of state, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. Gbowee later founded the Gbowee Peace Foundation Africa, focusing on girls' and women's education and leadership in Liberia and West Africa. She has received honorary degrees, contributed to various platforms, and continues to champion women's vital role in peace efforts.

Artwork by
Robert Ball

I have often been commissioned to draw fictional heroes from novels or even comic books. It was a privilege to finally draw a real-life hero, Leymah Gbowee. I took a visual cue from the beautiful fabrics she wears and created a chain pattern to represent female bondage. The chain links break apart into a shower of joyful colours when they touch her.


Liberia Flag
January 7, 1822
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