Liberian women from all religious and
academic backgrounds played a courageous role to end the country's bloody civil
war which lasted from 1989 to 2003.
Wearing only white T-shirts, the women took
on the warlords, including Charles Taylor and nonviolently brought peace to
Well, their strength and
perseverance in stopping the country's brutal civil war is the subject of a
documentary – "Pray the Devil Back to Hell".
It is showing in over 200 cities
around the world, and tonight (Wednesday) the documentary will be shown at the
World Bank in Washington, D.C.
Abigail Disney, producer of "Pray the Devil
Back to Hell", said the documentary is being
shown at this time because it embodies the message of the UN International Day
of Peace observed every year on September 21.
seems really important to mark the UN International Day of Peace because the
film is really about all the aspects of fighting for peace. It's about civil
disobedient and organizing and rising up and raising your voice for peace. So
we wanted to bring some attention to the UN International Day of Peace," she
said the documentary is being shown in over 200 cities in all seven continents.
even showing in Antarctica; it's been translated into 20 languages. Americans need to understand that just
because a film is about Africa, not only just Africans care about it. These
women did something that was extraordinary, and it's interesting to anyone
everywhere," Disney said.
said she made the documentary to convey different messages, including the need
to respect the courageous role Liberian women played in stopping their
made the film in part because simple matter of respect that seems as
appropriate that people should know and remember what these women accomplished.
And it just really bothers me that nobody honored what they did," she said.
Liberians debate what to do about the recommendations of the Truth and
Reconciliation Commission's final report, Disney hoped they will draw some
lessons from the women who played such a key role in stopping the war.
think the lesson is that if you really truly bring the voices of people to the
process, and not just the voices of few people, but the voices of all the
people of the grassroots, you'll have a richer process," she said.
said while it was left to Liberians to decide what to do with the TRC final
report, she was beginning to worry the voices of Liberian women were being drowned
does seem that the women's voices were starting to get drowned out again. So
I'm glad to see that Leyman (Gbowee, leader of the women movement) has gone
back to Liberia and has been working very hard on demystifying the report for
the same women who were out there in the fields so that they can make their own
decisions about what the report means," Disney said.
the Devil Back to Hell features strong women leaders such as Asatu Bah Kenneth,
Etweda Cooper, and Leymah Gbowee.
said many of these women continue to lead in many ways today.
in particular has started an organization called WIPSEN-A which is Women Peace
and Security Africa, and they are doing work training women in other countries
to do similar things, to rise up to organize and to get their voices heard at
the policy level," Disney said.
said Gbowee has been asked by the governments of Chad and Nigeria to come and
work with women in those countries.