Women’s meaningful involvement in civil resistance movements has shown to be a game changer. Examining movements in Argentina, Chile, Egypt, Liberia, the Palestinian territories, Poland, Syria, and the United States, this report advocates for the full engagement of women and their networks in nonviolent movements for a simple and compelling reason—because greater female inclusion leads to more sustainable peace.
With elections coming up next year in Liberia and Kenya, the time for early and sustained efforts to prevent clashes is now. Forthcoming USIP research shows that domestic institutions hold the key: election commissions, the police and, above all, political leaders. Any international support to those institutions and leaders must now move from plans to action in order to achieve any desired impact amid rising tensions.
In August, West Africa’s outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus exploded into Liberia’s capital, filling its hospitals beyond capacity and killing many of the city’s already-too-few doctors and nurses. With her government struggling and Liberians dying in Monrovia’s streets, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf placed urgent calls to both Democratic and Republican members of Congress, “who I awakened at night,” she recalled today.