Abigail Disney & Eimhear O’Neill on “Women, War & Peace”

The documentary “Women, War & Peace” highlights the forgotten women who helped achieve peace during some of history’s most challenging times. Executive producer Abigail Disney and director Eimhear O’Neill discuss the women who made it to the table, but not into the history books.

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CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR: It’s been proven that the durability and quantity of peace increases when women are included in the peace negotiations. But too often, the women who do make it to the table are left out of the history books. Well, my next guests are trying to correct that with their new PBS documentary series, “Women, War and Peace.” Shining a light on stories from Haiti to Egypt. In its first episode, it follows an all-female political party in Northern Ireland. It fought to be included in the 1998 Good Friday Agreement between the British and the Irish government. Here’s a clip.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We just said to people, “It’s not rocket science. Politicians would like you to think it is rocket science, it is not.”

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think many women didn’t really want to put themselves forward. It took a lot of courage, a lot of determination and a lot of having to expose your own identity in a society where identity was so closely linked with trouble, with violence, with danger.


AMANPOUR: Today, because of Brexit, some fear that danger. The work like the Good Friday Agreement could be undone if a hard boarder returns. So, joining me now from Santa Barbara, California is the series executive producer, Abigail Disney, and from Belfast, the Northern Irish episode director, Eimhear O’Neill. Welcome both of you to the program. It’s a really provocative look at something that we — you know, as you rightly spotlight, we don’t often remember in the history books. So, Abigail, since you’re the overall executive producer of this series, what was it specifically that made you focus on this issue?

ABIGAIL DISNEY, DIRECTOR, “WOMEN, WAR &PEACE”: Well, many years back I found myself in Liberia and discovered a story about what the women did to end the war there. And, you know, I came home kind of angry from Liberia because I pay attention to the news and something really important had happened there and no one had bothered to report it. So, I started that film called “Pray the Devil Back to Hell,” and as I started making it, people kept coming forward to me with, “Well, that happened to Liberia but let me tell you about Nepal and let me tell you about Argentina.”

About This Episode EXPAND

Christiane Amanpour speaks with Walter Dellinger and Jeffrey Toobin about the Mueller report; and filmmakers Abigail Disney and Eimhear O’Neill about the series “Women, War & Peace.” Michel Martin speaks with former White House Chief of Staff Alyssa Mastromonaco about her new memoir.