April 15

Women peacemakers born today

  • 1887 Violet Bonham Carter born Hampstead, London, England (d. 1969). First woman president of Internationalist Liberal Party.

  • 1918 Shirley R. Barbour (d. 2005). American artist; World Federalist. Leader in Rhode Island Nuclear Freeze campaign Women for a Non-Nuclear Future; Rhode Island Peace Mission.

  • 1921 Vimala Thakar born Bilaspur, Himachal Pradesh, India (d. 2009). Gandhian social activist and spiritual leader. Active in Vinoba Bhave’s land gift movement.

  • 1923 Yusra al-Barbari born Al-Daraj, Gaza. Palestinian educator; barred from leaving Gaza. Served Red Cross in WWII and later as executive. Palestinian delegate to UN General Assembly, 1963. Founding President, Palestinian Women’s Union in Gaza, 1964. Nobel Peace Prize nominee, 2005.

  • 1934 Solange Fernex born Strasbourg, France (d. 2006). French biologist; WILPF leader; Gandhian nonviolent protester. Member of European Parliament, 1989-94.

  • 1934 Ida Kuklina born Russia. Founded Committee of Soldiers' Mothers Against the Chechen War, 1989. Received Right Livelihood Award, 1996.

  • 1966 Chai Ling born Rizhao, Shandong. Graduate student in psychology. "General Commander" of Tiananmen protests, 1989; exiled, 1990. Founded All Girls Allowed, 2010.

Women's peacemaking on this day

  • 1918 Poet Josephine Bell tried for conspiracy to violate Espionage Act for her poem “A Tribute”.

    Emma Goldman and Alexander Berkman

    Are in prison tonight, 

    They are working on our destinies: 

    They are forging the love of the nations: 

    . . .

    Tonight they lie in prison.

  • 1973 Chris Sadler, British student poet, held off attacks at Keerungudi, Tamilnad in Gandhian satyagraha.

  • 1975 Shirley MacLaine's documentary film Other Half of the Sky about African-American activist Unita Blackwell's trip to China was released.

  • 1993 Global Peace Movers tax protest at Concord Depot resulted in arrest of three women.

  • 2011 Mabel Cluer celebrated her 100th birthday while standing in CND peace vigil against Iraq War, Wimbledon.

  • 2013 Hattie Nestel and Priscilla Lynch stenciled “I smell a rat” on the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant driveway, resulting in their arrests.