Zaire Williams English 12Can one woman change the world? Many women today are not looked at as leaders. There are very few females in society that have control over one area in the world. Liberia’s president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is known for living several lives being a freedom fighter, banker, UN bureaucrat, rebel, farmer, and a grandmother-in-chief. Ms. Sirleaf in her early twenties came to the United States for her masters degree in public administration from Harvard University. She went on to serve as Liberia’s finance minister, surviving two periods in jail for the positions she took in the increasingly risky political environment of the 1980’s. Ms. Sirleaf has kept peace in Liberia after the Civil War that took place in 1989, while serving as president for more than ten years after being elected in 2005. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf single handedly lifted liberia off its knees after a tragic war causing many to be traumatized from what had happened, many were affected through family, and brung poverty on the country as a whole. Many Liberians were traumatized from the overwhelming events occuring. During the “First Liberian Civil War” there were approximately 70% of women raped. According to Afua Hirsch a freelance writer, “Less a war, as observers described it, and more an apocalyptic explosion of depravity and violence, it left a quarter of a million dead, displaced five times that number and saw a generation of children drugged and turned into killers themselves. An estimated 70% of women were raped”(Hirsch). During this time many warlords turned innocent kids into killers changing their lives “over night”. Being a kid seeing death is devastating. Some people would need counseling after seeing such indescribable events.Not only were innocent victims hurt but families were ruined in the process. Many families were separated due to the chaoticness happening. Plenty of Liberians grabbed their families and moved to neighboring countries. WWW. Globalsecurity.org says, “The Liberian Civil War, which was one of Africa’s bloodiest, claimed the lives of more than 200,000 Liberians and further displaced a million others into refugee camps in neighboring countries”. In early January, 1989, my mom came to America with her mom, on a vacation trip. While they were on their trip they were exposed to horrific news that a war broke out and couldn’t travel back to their home country, Liberia. For many years they did not see or hear from my grandfather and three uncles, not knowing if they were still alive or what kind of condition they were in. Just imagine not seeing your siblings or parents for years due to a war. This situation happened to an abundance of families all over Liberia.Liberia also took a hit on their financial aspects. WWW. Globalsecurity.org also states “Political upheavals beginning in the 1980s and the brutal 7-year civil war (1989-1996) brought about a steep decline in the living standards of the country, including its education and infrastructure”. Like any other country after they go to war, Liberia had a drop in currency. They also had a drop in their education system. Due to warlords going to the civilians homes and taking children; many didn’t not go to school for almost 7 years. The Liberian Civil war did plenty of damage to Liberia but Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has helped to bring a broken country back to being a great place to visit. Liberia is known for its rich supply of water, mineral resources, forests, and a climate favorable to agriculture. Liberia has a typical profile for Sub-Saharan African economies. Majority of Liberia’s population is reliant on agriculture, while exports are mostly raw items such as rubber and iron ore. Local manufacturing is mainly foreign-owned. Liberia’s coastline is 580 kilometers long facing the Atlantic Ocean. Even though Liberia has had bad history it still is a beautiful place to go and see.         

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