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Leymah Gbowee wins Nobel Peace Prize while on book tour

10th October 2011

Leymah Gbowee has revealed how she learned of her Nobel Peace Prize victory while on a book tour promoting her memoirs.

The 39-year-old Liberian activist shares the 2011 prize with Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, president of Liberia, and the Yemeni democracy activist Tawakkol Karman, for promoting peace, democracy and gender equality through nonviolence.

However, Gbowee said she was unaware of her victory until moments before she was about to give a talk on her book Mighty be Their Powers: How Sisterhood, Prayer, and Sex Changed a Nation at War in New York.

As a result, the event became an acceptance speech as well as an opportunity to talk about her memoirs, which document her time as a peace activist during Liberia's civil war.

During the talk, Gbowee spoke of her shock at receiving the prize and reiterated her belief that the role of women in peace work is essential.

'There's no way you can fix a community and say you can find a solution for that community when you only use half of the community. When men make peace, it's not a total peace,' she added.

Gbowee said her new prominence as a Nobel laureate is also a chance to 'put her home on the map' and draw attention to the work that still needs doing in Liberia.

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