Liberia: African Feminists Look Like This

Photos: Laura McClure

Editors’ Note: Laura McClure is traveling in Liberia this month on an IRP Gatekeeper Editors trip organized by the International Reporting Project (IRP).

The Liberian lady holding our latest issue is Margreat Malley, one of the market women leaders in the West African Network for Peacebuilding (WANEP).

She—along with Etweda “Sugars” Cooper and the other smart, fearless feminists pictured here—helped bring an end to Liberia’s civil war through nonviolent protests and mass sit-ins. (Watch the documentary “Pray the Devil Back to Hell” to learn more about their struggle.)

Etweda "Sugars" CooperEtweda “Sugars” Cooper

Now the Liberian women’s movement faces a new challenge: With peace on the ground and Africa’s first female president in office, can leaders find a way to engage younger feminists? Malley leads the call and response you’ll hear in the recording below, taped in Liberia earlier this month. (Click the little arrow below this paragraph to play the recording.) The words she’s singing: “Tomorrow’s a brand new day.”

Liberian peace activists

Stay tuned for more Africa dispatches.