Since Liberia’s independence in 1847 women, especially indigenous women, have remained at the margin of National Development as a result of political domination, exclusion from decision –making, subjection to abuse and entrenched bad traditional practices limiting their access to education and livelihood opportunities.
The election of the first female President for two consecutive terms, 2005 and 2011, were hopeful signs that change was possible and that gender equity was on the horizon. Unfortunately however, Liberia is still a patrimonial male dominated society and women still did not have equal access to education, property ownership or decision making.
2013 Ebola Outbreak
Liberia is still struggling to recover from more than 14 years of war that devastated the entire country, and the Ebola outbreak of 2013 which slumped the annual GDP from 9% in 2013 to nearly 0% in 2014.The adverse effect of the crisis created additional challenges for the already appalling conditions of the disadvantaged especially women and girls.
The Formation of GPFA
The formation of the Gbowee Peace Foundation Africa was a direct result of the personal and professional experiences of our Founder, Noble Laureate Leymah Gbowee, who immensely contributed, along with other women, to the cessation of the Liberian Civil Crisis and the restoration of peace in the West African region. The restoration of peace and the gradual progress on the path to recovery and political consolidation in Liberia saw the necessity to expand the peacebuilding program to include education, leadership and targeted community involvement.