The following streaming PBS documentary videos have been added to Voyager. (Note: This five-part series, Women War and Peace, was originally aired in October 2011).
Women War and Peace: I Came To Testify (1 hour): When the Balkans exploded into war in the 1990s, reports that tens of thousands of women were being systematically raped as a tactic of ethnic cleansing captured the international spotlight. I Came to Testify is the moving story of how a group of 16 women who had been imprisoned by Serb-led forces in the Bosnian town of Foca broke history’s great silence – and stepped forward to take the witness stand in an international court of law. Now, as Bosnia is once again in the headlines with the capture of Bosnian Serb wartime general Ratko Mladic, the women agree to speak for the first time since then, on condition that we keep their identities hidden for their protection. “Witness 99,” who was held at gunpoint for a month with dozens of other women in a sports hall in the center of town remembers: “We were treated like animals. But that was the goal: to kill a woman’s dignity.” Their remarkable courage resulted in a triumphant verdict that led to new international laws about sexual violence in war. Returning to Bosnia 16 years after the end of the conflict, I Came to Testify also explores the chasm between this seismic legal shift and the post-war justice experienced by most of Bosnia’s women war survivors.
Women War and Peace: Pray the Devil Back to Hell (1 hour): The story of the Liberian women who took on the warlords and regime of dictator Charles Taylor in the midst of a brutal civil war, and won a once unimaginable peace for their shattered country in 2003. As the rebel noose tightened around the capital city of Monrovia, thousands of women – ordinary mothers, grandmothers, aunts and daughters, both Christian and Muslim – formed a thin but unshakeable line between the opposing forces. Armed only with white T-shirts and the courage of their convictions, they literally faced down the killers who had turned Liberia into hell on earth. In one memorable scene, the women barricaded the site of stalled peace talks in Ghana and refused to move until a deal was done. Their demonstrations culminated in Taylor’s exile and the rise of Africa’s first female head of state, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. Inspiring and uplifting, Pray the Devil Back to Hell is a compelling example of how grassroots activism can alter the history of nations.
Women War and Peace: Peace Unveiled (1 hour): When the U.S. troop surge was announced in late 2009, women in Afghanistan knew that the ground was being laid for peace talks with the Taliban. Peace Unveiled follows three women who immediately began to organize to make sure that women’s rights don’t get traded away in the deal. One is a savvy parliamentarian who participated in writing the Afghan constitution that guarantees equality for women; another, a former midwife who is one of the last women’s rights advocates alive in Kandahar; and the third, a young activist who lives in a traditional family in Kabul. Convinced that the Taliban will have demands that jeopardize women’s hard-earned gains, they maneuver against formidable odds to have their voices heard in a peace jirga and high peace council. We go behind Kabul’s closed doors as the women’s case is made to U.S. Ambassador Karl Eikenberry, U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues Melanne Verveer, General David Petraeus and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who promises the women that “peace and justice can’t come at the cost of women and women’s lives.” But will this promise be kept?
Women War and Peace: The War We Are Living (1 hour): If you ask Colombia’s city dwellers and governing political class, they’ll tell you the country’s 40-year-old civil war is over. But The War We Are Living reveals the “other” Colombia, in rural areas far away from the capital, where the war is all too real – and now the battle is over gold. In Cauca, a mountainous region in Colombia’s Pacific southwest, two extraordinary Afro-Colombian women are fighting to hold onto the gold-rich land that has sustained their community through small-scale mining for centuries. Clemencia Carabali and Francia Marquez are part of a powerful network of female leaders who found that in wartime women can organize more freely than men. As they defy paramilitary death threats and insist on staying on their land, Carabali and Marquez are standing up for a generation of Colombians who have been terrorized and forcibly displaced as a deliberate strategy of war. If they lose the battle, they and thousands of their neighbors will join Colombia’s 4 million people – most of them women and children – who have been uprooted from their homes and livelihoods.
Women War and Peace: War Redefined (1 hour): War Redefined challenges the conventional wisdom that war and peace are men’s domain through incisive interviews with leading thinkers, Secretaries of State and seasoned survivors of war and peace-making. Interviewees include Secretary of State Hillary Clinton; Liberian peace activist Leymah Gbowee; Bosnian war crimes investigator Fadila Memisevic; and globalization expert Moises Nai.