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The Way To Bring A Lasting Peace In The Congo? Women. | ThinkProgress

A woman greets members of a peace delegation as they reach the city of Goma in the DR Congo (photo: UN photo/Monusco)

A woman greets members of a peace delegation as they reach the city of Goma in the DR Congo (photo: UN photo/Monusco)

By Holly Dranginis

When Nobel Peace Prize winner Leymah Gbowee led women in song at the fish markets on the Liberian coast in the late 1990s, she began one of the most striking peace movements of our time. Amidst brutal civil war, Gbowee mobilized women across diverse religious and political affiliations to demand inclusion in their country’s peace process. As they advanced from church basements to picket lines to presidential palaces, little did Gbowee know she would inspire women over a decade later, almost three thousand miles away in the war-ravaged eastern provinces of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

One afternoon in May, Dranginis sat with Justine Masika Bihamba in her tile-floored living room in North Kivu’s gritty, vibrant provincial capital of Goma. Bihama coordinates women’s organizations throughout eastern Congo to strengthen advocacy. Sipping from a tall glass bottle of bright orange soda and weaving Gbowee’s story throughout her own, she told Dranginis her plans for raising women’s voices in the Great Lakes region of Africa.

For more on this story, visit: The Way To Bring A Lasting Peace In The Congo? Women. | ThinkProgress.

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