Peace. Action. Karachi. Lessons from Liberian women

Liberian women demonstrate at the American Embassy in Monrovia at the height of the the civil war in July 2003. Photo: Pewee Flomoku

Poster: Pray the Devil Back to Hell. Original Artwork: Olaf Hajek

Originally published in The News blog,  What Karachi can learn from Liberian women, April 6, 2012

Beena Sarwar

Watching “Pray the Devil Back to Hell”, an hour-long documentary film about how a small band of women came together to bring an end to the bloody civil war in Liberia, it struck me that their approach may well work in Karachi.

Although Liberia, with a population of barely three million is just a fraction of Karachi’s over 16 million, both have been gripped by ongoing turf and gang wars. As in Liberia, the underlying motives are to gain power over resources and employment.

The intense scale of violence in Liberia brought on by violent warlords and the corrupt Charles Taylor regime claimed over 200,000 lives before the women won peace in 2003. Their sustained movement of about two-and-a-half years was built upon earlier struggles waged by women, journalists and political activists. Continue reading

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