This is the story of not only how a nation at war was changed but more basically it is the detailed story of the events in one woman's life which led her to that time and place where she could gather with and lead those women who made that change. Leymah gives a very detailed description of the events and phases in her life and doesn't gloss over the parts she regrets or those that were difficult. Not that it was ever easy but she had a support system to raise her children while she was becoming the warrior woman she felt she must be. That was the very difficult trade off she regretfully chose. What she didn't choose were the horrific killings and rapes that were happening all around her. Those were what she knew she had to enable the women around her to stand up and fight against.
"People who have lived through a terrible conflict may be hungry and desperate, BUT THEY'RE NOT STUPID. They often have very good ideas about how peace can evolve, and they need to be asked.
That includes women. Most especially women. When it comes to preventing conflict or building peace, there's a way in which women ARE the experts. Think of how intimately women know their homes. If the lights are out, we can walk through rooms without bumping into anything. If a stranger has been there, we sense it. That's how well we know our communities. We know who belongs, and who is a potentially threatening stranger. We know the history. We know the people. We knew how to talk to an ex-combatant and get his cooperation, because we know where he comes from. To outsiders like the UN, these soldiers were a problem to be managed. But they were our children."
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