She is one of the 1000 women proposed for the Nobel Peace Price 2005.
She says: “My faith is my strength. But having said that, I am convinced that religion has become a tool used to regulate our society”.
She says also: “You know when you have a vision and you tell people and they have to think about it, especially in terms of Guinea Bissau that nobody now believes that it is capable of staying away from conflict definitively”.
Macaria Barai – Guinea-Bissau
She works for the Women In Peace-building Network WIPNET, the Chamber of Commerce of Guinea-Bissau, and for Citoyens de bonne volonté.
A national of Guinea-Bissau, Madame Macaria Barai is very devoted and always available to give people her time. Having studied in Guinea-Bissau and Portugal, today she lives with her mother and her children and has 15 years of experience in fighting for peace on the one hand and on the other hand fighting for the emancipation of Guinea-Bissau women.
She is a very pious woman who is widely respected nationally. Her work is highly regarded by the archbishop of Guinea-Bissau and his office.A national of Guinea-Bissau, Madame Macaria Barai is very devoted and always available to give people her time.
The commitment of Macaria to peace has nourished in her a strong culture of peace and stability that has allowed her to be involved in the management of the internal conflicts as president of a Catholic obedience association known as Associacao de Quadrosleigos Catolicos.
This attitude is not typical in a country of Mandingue traditions where women do not have a decision-making role in the matters of the community. But the reputation of this woman leader and her religion in her country meant that she was accepted by all. Through her, Guinea Bissau women have mobilized themselves within several peace associations that have worked to establish a dialog between the civil populations and central power. She worked, at the same time, with people at the borders of Guinea Bissau and neighboring countries to involve themselves in the resolution of the conflicts of the region.
The associative and professional activities of Madame Macaria are the reason for her regular absence in her family. They also almost cost her her life when she was the victim of a serious traffic accident on a peace mission inside the country.
Her immense work serves as model since it is now accepted that a woman may be more credible in management of the important portfolios in Guinea Bissau. After the military coup against the President Cumba Yalla, she got involved with the leaders of the Economic Community of West African States (CEDEAO) to convince them to renounce a takeover of power and to install an interim civil president. Her actions in this matter are given as an example at national and international meetings. Macaria took the risk of managing this crisis because she loves her country and spares no effort in the service of Guinea Bissau.
Madame Macaria Baria is responsible in Guinea Bissau for Women In Peace-building Network (WIPNET). She has occupied this position since November 2003. (Read all on 1000peacewomen).