April 25

Women peacemakers born today

  • 1863 Lucy Gardner born Leeds, England (d. 1944). Quaker peace leader. Founding Secretary, Fellowship of Reconciliation (FOR), 1914. Sponsored American Alice Paul for head of Charity Organization Society London, 1907; edited FOR magazine Reconciliation. Founded International Fellowship of Reconciliation (IFOR), 1919.

  • 1905 Martha Sharp (née Dickie) born Providence, RI (d. 1999). Unitarian refugee rescuer; co-founded Unitarian Service Committee; work in Prague 1939 relief program and escort of children to Holland; Lisbon 1940 assisted escape of Jews; honored by Yad Vashem Righteous Among Nations, 2005; founded “Children to Palestine” 1943; aided release of imprisoned Spanish refugees, 1944.

  • 1913 Francelia Butler born Cleveland, OH (d. 1998). Literature professor at Univ. of Connecticut; journalist and children's writer. Founded International Peace Games, 1990.

  • 1915 Hind al-Husseini born Jerusalem (d. 1994). Rescued 55 survivors, all under age 9, from Deir Yassin massacre, 1948; converted grandfather's home to orphanage, Arab Children's House. Founded Hind al-Husseini College for Women, 1982.

  • 1931 Adrienne van Melle-Hermans born The Hague, Netherlands (d. 2007). Dutch peacemaker; opposed racism against immigrants. Co-founded Dutch Women for Peace, 1979; opened clinic for children in Balkan War, 1994. Nobel Peace Prize nominee, 2005.

  • 1932 Frene Ginwala born Johannesburg, South Africa. African National Congress leader against apartheid. Lived in exile, 1960-91. Played key role in reestablishment of ANC Women’s League, 1990. First Speaker of South Africa Parliament, 1994-2004.

  • 1942 Ruby Doris Smith-Robinson born Atlanta, GA (d. 1967). Early leader of Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, 1960; original Freedom Rider, 1961. Only woman to serve as Executive Secretary of SNCC, 1966.

  • 1956 Vesna Pusić born Zagreb, Yugoslavia. Croatian Sociology Professor; official candidate for UN Secretary General 2016; the only feminist; endorsed by nonviolent party; Foreign Minister 2006-11; promoted European unity, chaired negotiations for Croatian membership in EU 2005-8; co-founder Erasmus Guild 1993 promoting postwar cultural democracy.

  • 1978 Malalai Joya born Farah, Afghanistan. "The bravest woman in Afghanistan." Opposed warlords, Taliban, Karzai and US occupation. Youngest member of parliament, 2005, from which she was dismissed for criticism.

  • 1979 Manal al-Sharif born Mecca, Saudi Arabia. Human rights activist. Arrested for driving on 30th birthday. Organized campaign to release Southeast Asian women jailed for minor offenses, 2011. Awarded Havel Prize for Creative Dissent, 2012.

Women's peacemaking on this day

  • 1899 May Wright Sewall's letter on behalf of 1.25 million women who supported Russian Tsar's appeal for peace.

  • 1906 Suffragists interrupted parliamentary debate to insist on hearing.

  • 1951 Little Rock Student Petition for Desegregation began the process that led to Brown v. Board of Education decision.

  • 1978 "Women Against Rape" banner of 20 women at ANZAC Day celebration, Canberra, Australia.

  • 1980 14 of 16 women protesters of ANZAC parade arrested, Canberra.

  • 1981 First western Eco-Feminist Conference held at Sonoma State Univ. organized by Susan Adler of CREATE.

  • 1981 300 Women marched beside ANZAC Parade Canberra with sign "In Memory of All Women of All Countries Raped in All Wars."

  • 1982 600 Women in Canberra, Australia laid a wreath for all women raped in wars.

  • 1983 175 Women arrested in Sydney and Melbourne in protest against rape in wars.

  • 2004 At the Fourth Inzá Women's Gathering, 2000 women met at Turminá, Tierradentro, Colombia to protest ongoing militarization of the region.

  • 2005 Foundation for Post Conflict Development (FPCD) founded by Claudia Abate.

  • 2015 Conclusion of WILPF Centennial Congress, “Women’s Power to Stop War,” at Peace Palace, The Hague.