25 November, 2020

‘The Sex Strike Idea Was Born Out Of Sheer Desperation’

Nobel laureate Leymah Roberta Gbowee talks about the peace movement she led in Liberia and the unique 'sex strike' tactic.

AFP (From Outlook 24 August 2015)
‘The Sex Strike Idea Was Born Out Of Sheer Desperation’

Nobel laureate Leymah Roberta Gbowee, 43, is a well-known peace activist of Liberia. She successfully led a woman’s peace movement to end the second Liberian war in 2003. Her efforts led to the trial and conviction of the country’s strongman Charles Taylor and ushered in peace, enabling free elections to be held in 2005. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf won and became the first woman president of Liberia—in fact the first woman president of any African nat­ion. She continues to be president of Liberia. In 2011, Gbowee, Sirleaf and Tawakkul Karman, a peace activist of Yemen, were jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Gbowee’s movement also caught international media attention for one of their unique tactics: using what came to be known as a “sex strike”, reminiscent of Aristophanes’ play Lysistrata, the women refused to have sex with their partners unless the men actively supported their peace initiative. Gbowee spoke to Pranay Sharma about the movement she led and the future of women in Liberia. Excerpts...



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