The book launched Friday, April 2, 2021 at ActionAid Liberia office in Congo, outside Monrovia, brought together top women’s rights activists who lauded Madam Williams for narrating some of the dreadful moments during Liberia’s 14 years of unrest, especially women and girls’ encounter. Top activists, who graced the book launch, included ActionAid Liberia Country Director Lakshmi Moore, Country Director of Medica Liberia Caroline Bowah Brown, Chairperson of the National Civil Society Council of Liberia Loretta Pope-Kai and President of the Female Journalists Association of Liberia Siatta Scott-Johnson, among others.
Madam Williams said writing the book was as a result of having a folder for 15 years filled with poems, some of which highlighted the different terrible situations in Liberia during the civil unrest and advocacy on women’s rights. She noted that the book also focused on people realizing their rights and lifting the conversations that many considered to be a taboo, stating “everyone who talks about women’s rights and feminism are challenging the status quo and bringing trouble to the society.” Accordingly, Madam Williams, who is currently based in Kenya, Nairobi, said writing the book was not difficult for her and attributed the success of writing the book to divine intervention.
Commenting on additional reason for writing the book, Madam Williams recalled that during Liberia’s civil war, she was a young woman but her experience going through the various checkpoints was traumatic. “However, because I had many people around, I did not understand the effect of the trauma on my action, what have changed about me and the fact that I did not have the requisite social skills to be able to deal with people although I was angry. I felt disappointed due to the war which pushed me back 10 years before completing college,” she narrated.
She said the book was written during the heat of the coronavirus pandemic at which time people were home and reading the Bible and other materials, stating “and we wouldn’t know when the world will come to end and I thought to give hope and utilize the opportunity given me.” “I am saying let’s talk about it because if we don’t, we will not be able to go to the place of redemption, freedom and to the place where everyone can be able to reach their full potential, which is through poetry,” Madam Williams said. Activist Williams said she believes that it is creative that will save the country because not everyone will want to be head of a political party but there are people who will write, sing and people who dance to change Liberia, stating “we have to start to think about the alternative for the development of Liberia.”
“Looking at where I come from to write this book, I decided to honor women ancestors, because I believe that it’s the origin of not just my person or body physically, but it’s the origin of my soul and my spirit,” Madam Williams pointed out.
She mentioned that one of the things that were important to her was about conversation about women’s bodies, saying: “ We cannot restrict our contributions to society to reproductive role because there are other things that women can do.” “I talked about the state of our body, which is a system of patriarchy in Liberia and how it affects people, especially women, men and other group of people in our society. It really about the laws and policies around marriage, and child’s rights and it’s important to have discussion about which is mentioned in the book,” Madam Williams, among other things, added.