April 20

Women peacemakers born today

  • 1939 Gro Harlem Brundtland born Oslo, Norway. Three-time prime minister of Norway, first woman and youngest ever. First woman to head World Health Organization, 1998-2003; UN Special Envoy for Climate Change, 2007.

  • 1949 Jessica Lange born Cloquet, MN. Actress who opposed Iraq War; UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador 2003, with mission to Congo to oppose violence to women.

  • 1950 Sandra Kanck born Broken Hill, New South Wales, Australia. Australian social reformer and peace activist. Politician; member of South Australian Parliament, 1993-2009. Protested French atomic tests, Mururoa, 1971.

  • 1955 Michele Picard born Grenoble, France. President of Human Rights Chamber for Bosnia, 1997. Judge at International Criminal Tribunal Yugoslavia (ICTY), 2008; Human Rights Advisory Panel, Kosovo, 2007.

  • 1963 Seyran Ates born Istanbul, Turkey. German-Turk feminist Muslim lawyer. One of 1000 women nominated by WILPF for Nobel Peace Prize for defense of women's rights; severely wounded by Muslim fanatic, 1984.

  • 1975 Sabeen Mahmud born Karachi, Pakistan (d. 2015). Pakistani peacemaker and “tech geek.” Founded The Second Floor café (T2F), a community space for social change, 2007. Assassinated after hosting a seminar at T2F, 2015.

Women's peacemaking on this day

  • 1534 Holy Maid of Kent, Elizabeth Barton hanged Westminster for treason, a political martyr of Henry VIII.

  • 1975 20,000 Greek Cypriot women marched in demand for return of refugees.

  • 1982 First of many arrests of Barbara Wiedner at Mather AFB. "As a mother and grandmother, I could no longer remain silent as our world rushes on its collision course with disaster which threatens the lives and futures of all children, everywhere, and the future of this beautiful planet itself."

  • 1986 Women’s Funeral protest against army killings Port Elizabeth, South Africa. “We said it’s enough, what are we going to do now? We are the women, we are going to take over the funeral; there will be no more children dying.”

  • 2007 American author Maureen Corrigan injured in protest against Israeli wall of separation.

  • 2009 Neda Agha-Soltan killed in nonviolent protest, Tehran.