Diane Abbott

Overview

Diane Abbott born London, England September 27, 1953. First black woman Member of British Parliament, 1987; Labor Shadow Minister of International Development. Voted against wars in Iraq and Afghanistan; led opposition to bombing of Syria, 2015. Opposed nuclear weapons; supported Palestinian rights.

Quotations

[M]ake Labour a voice for peace and international law after the disastrous wars of the Blair years.” (Stop the War Coalition, Aug. 7, 2015; photo dianeabbott.org)

Edith Abbott

Overview

Edith Abbott born Grand Island, NE September 26, 1876 (d. 1957). PhD economist, daughter of Quaker; lifelong pacifist; Dean of Social Service, U. of Chicago; founded Immigrants' Protective League 1909; co-founded Women's Peace Party 1915; opposed World War II.

Quotations

On opposition to World War II: "It was Nebraska isolationism in part, but it was also Quaker pacifism. We had quite an argument." (Lela Costin, Two Sisters, p. 237, 1983; photo Wikipedia)

Grace Abbott

Overview

Grace Abbott born Grand Island NB, Canada November 17, 1878 (d. 1939). Quaker; pacifist; internationalist; founder of WILPF; first US delegate to League of Nations, 1923; US representative to ILO, 1935, 1937; decade-long associate of Addams's Hull House, 1908; organized Women's Peace Party Conference of Oppressed for Dependent Nationalities Washington DC, 1916.

Quotations

"To have had a part in the struggle—to have done what one could—is in itself the reward of effort and the comfort in defeat." (bio in Social Welfare History Project; photo 1929 Lib. Cong pd)

Anna Abdallah

Overview

Anna Abdallah Msekwa born Southern Tanzania July 26, 1940. Nurse; held four major cabinet posts: Minister of Health, Agriculture and Community Development, Public Works, Local Government. Initiated Creators of Peace for a just, peaceful and sustainable world.

Quotations

"We must create the positive element called 'peace,' which is not just the absence of weapons. And that means beginning with ourselves. Women are the missing link. We see things differently from men." (http://bit.ly/1gBi4GG; photo guide2womenleaders.com/Governors)

Dekha Ibrahim Abdi

Overview

Dekha Ibrahim Abdi born Wajir, Kenya November 17, 1964 (d. 2011). Kenyan peacemaker. Received Right Livelihood Award for inter-faith dialogs, 2007; Hessian Peace Prize of Peace Research Institute, 2009.

Quotations

A peace process is not about the mathematics of numbers and percentages in relation to who is in majority or minority. It is about plurality, diversity, participation and ownership of all affected by the conflict and who live in the context hence nothing less than full participation and ownership.” (Right Livelihood Award acceptance speech, Dec. 7, 2007; photo hiiraan.com)

Sajida Abdulvahabova

Overview

Sajida Abdulvahabova born Azerbaijan June 2, 1947. Professor promoting peace journalism, Baku University.

Quotations

Historically, the humanity has been silent about the role of women in war, almost as silent as the women excluded from peace negotiations. Images that are negative for the individual and for society in general. . . [One of the] two main principles of peace journalism. . . is that all parties in a conflict must be heard. It is possible to put a gender perspective on conflict reporting to see its gender roles patterns. It is a fact that many civil society peace initiatives are taken by women. But women's peace efforts and peace proposals are seldom seen in the media.” (quote & photo Peace Portal [http://old.kvinnatillkvinna.se/en/article/3225])

Kusala Abhayavardhana

Overview

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Kusala Abhayavardhana born Ceylon November 1, 1920. Sri Lankan member of parliament 1970-7; WILPF national chair; co-founded Civil Service International in Sri Lanka; founding secretary International Women’s Year Sri Lanka.

Quotations

[T]his year is not only for women's liberation but for the liberation of the whole of our society from the shackles that keep us imprisoned in our poverty and unemployment.” (Kay Camp “Listen to Women for a Change; photo lankareporter.co)

Rae Abileah

Overview

Rae Abileah born Freeport, NY November 3, 1982. National Coordinator, Code Pink. Attempted citizen’s arrest of Karl Rove for war crimes, 2008. Organized Gaza Freedom March, 2009. Led Stolen Beauty boycott campaign against Ahava cosmetics. Beaten and arrested after interrupting Israeli PM Netanyahu's speech to Congress, 2011.

Quotations

I am in great pain, but this is nothing compared to the pain and suffering that Palestinians go through on a regular basis.” (Mondoweiss, May 26, 2011; photo democratic-republicans.us)

Hafsat Abiola

Overview

Hafsat Abiola-Costello born Ikeja, Lagos, Nigeria August 21, 1974. Nigerian human rights activist; founded Kudirat Initiative for Democracy (KIND) 1999 for her assassinated mother, to promote African democracy; treasurer Women’s Learning Partnership for Peace; founded China Africa Bridge 2008; Cambridge Peace Commission Youth Peace award 1997; Goi Peace Award 2016.

Quotations

Take your light and take your love into the world as the only weapons that we need to make this world truly glorious, truly beautiful, and astonish all of life.” (Nov. 9, 2001, Nuclear Age Peace Foundation; photo Wikipedia)

Maha Abu-Dayyeh

Overview

Maha Abu-Dayyeh Shamas born Palestine August 24, 1951 (d. 2015). Palestinian human rights leader; feminist. Co-founder and Director, Women’s Centre for Legal Aid and Counseling, E. Jerusalem, 1991-2015. Received French Republic Human Rights Award, 1998; named Ms. Woman of the Year, 2002. Protested Israeli violence against women.

Quotations

Peace is made between peoples and not between leaders. A process that should lead to a political solution that is sustainable and consequently permanent. . . should not be left to the confines of the generals, and should be transparent to the relevant societies. We have to address and understand each other’s history with an open mind. If we leave it only to men, we get Israeli generals and Palestinians who will not be defeated and there is no room to negotiate.” (No Women No Peace, 1000peacewomen; photo inclusivesecurity.org)

Bella Abzug

Overview

Bella Abzug (née Savitsky) born Bronx, NY July 24, 1920 (d. 1998). Feminist and civil rights legislator; founded Women Strike for Peace 1961; Democrat member of Congress 1971-7; introduced resolution on Vietnam on first day in Congress Jan. 1971; founded Women, USA opposing draft of women; WILPF representative to UN founded Women's Environment & Development Organization to support UN.

Quotations

"We are here to speak of the thousands of women who have been destroyed through war, who have been raped, battered and butchered." (final speech at UN, March 16, 1998)

Pauline Acayo

Overview

Pauline Silver Acayo born Gulu-Lira borderlands, Uganda June 3, 1965. Catholic Relief nun. Helped over 2,000 abducted children, adults, and former soldiers reintegrate into their former communities; encouraged national peace and reconciliation talks. Coordinated with People's Voice for Peace to establish women peace committees. Joined Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace & Justice Women PeaceMakers Program, 2005.

Quotations

“When I see God’s protection, I realize that maybe I have not yet done enough. I still need to do more.” (Emiko Noma, Born in the Borderlands, Living for Unity, p. 67, 2005; photo newswire.crs.org)

Lea Ackermann

Overview

Lea Ackermann born Völklingen, Germany February 2, 1937. Catholic nun. Founded organization SOLWODI (Solidarity with Women in Distress) to combat sex tourism, human trafficking, and forced prostitution, 1985.

Quotations

"Seeing the violence, exploitation and misery of these women, who were forced to work as prostitutes because they were poor, convinced me I had to help change their situation. . . I realized that even in civilized Europe, migrant women and girls are being exploited and mistreated in very similar ways." (ABC News, May 3, 2006; 2012 photo Wikipedia)

Mariclaire Acosta

Overview

Mariclaire Acosta Urquida born November 7, 1948. Mexican human rights advocate. First woman to hold position of Utrecht University UNESCO Human Rights Chair. Representative, Amnesty International, Mexico section, 1977-84. Founding director, Mexican Academy of Human Rights, 1984-89. Chairperson, Mexican Commission for the Defense and Promotion of Human Rights, 1990-2000. Special Ambassador for Human Rights and Democracy, 2000; Secretary of Human Rights and Democracy in Foreign Ministry, 2001-03. Director, Freedom House Mexico, 2011-present. Coordinated mediation in peace talks with Zapatistas, Chiapas, 1994.

Quotations

There are no magic solutions to human rights violations, but with the establishment of this office we are opening up to international scrutiny.” (thenewsMexico, Dec. 7, 2002)

The human rights situation in Mexico is dire. This is primarily a result of the lack of structural reforms of the criminal justice system and policing—we are still living under the legacy of authoritarianism. . . as well as the misguided strategy of fighting a 'war' against the drug cartels. The consequences of this 'war' have been thousands of disappearances, several hundred extrajudicial executions, several thousand internally displaced persons, the institutionalization of torture and detention without charges, and last but not least, the deaths of almost 50,000 people.” (Freedom House interview, June 26, 2012; photo revistafolios.mx)

Victoria Gray Adams

Overview

Victoria Almeter Jackson Gray Adams born Hattiesburg, MS November 5, 1926 (d. 2006). Field Secretary for Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, 1962; leader in King's SCLC; Freedom Summer organizer; Mississippi Freedom Dem. Party with Fannie Lou Hamer, 1964.

Quotations

"Effective movements are composed of two basic constituencies: those who are in the movement, and those who have the movement in them. The movement is in me, and I know it always will be." (Brian Johns interview c. 2004; photo Find a Grave)

Magda Aelvoet

Overview

Magdalena “Magda” Aelvoet born Steenokkerzeel, Flemish Brabant, Belgium April 4, 1944. Belgian politician. Helped draft St. Michael's Accords, Belgian state reforms which made Belgium a fully federalized nation, 1993. Appointed Minister of State, 1995; member European Parliament, 1994-99. Opposed NATO bombing of Kosovo as head of European Green Party, 1997-99. Belgian Deputy Prime Minister, until resignation in protest of sale of arms to Nepal, 1999-2002.

Quotations

The UN Secretary General should be asked to launch an initiative in order to reopen immediate diplomatic negotiation. Additional measures must also be immediately put in place in order to prevent the conflict from spilling over into neighbouring countries, including. . . a UN peace-keeping presence in Albania." (Environment News Service, April 1, 1999; photo standaard.be)

Mahnaz Afkhami

Overview

Mahnaz Afkhami born Kerman, Iran January 14, 1941. Human rights activist; Iran's first Minister of Women's Affairs, 1976-78. Founded Women's Learning Partnership for Rights, Development, and Peace (WLP), 2000.

Quotations

"The crass infringement of women’s rights we see in the Muslim world has more to do with power, patriarchy, and misuse of religion as political weapon than with religion properly understood as individual faith." ("Gender Apartheid, Cultural Relativism, and Women’s Human Rights"; 2011 photo Wikipedia)