August 15

Women peacemakers born today

  • 1787 Eliza Lee Cabot Follen born Boston, MA (d. 1860). Nonviolent abolitionist leader, poet and childrens' author; opposed Mexican War.

  • 1828 Maria Deraismes born Paris (d. 1894). Leading French feminist and pacifist; founded Human Right, first Masonic lodge practicing equality 1882; co-founded Society for Amelioration of Women's Condition 1870; co-convened first women's rights conference 1878; promoted arbitration.

  • 1885 Edna Ferber born Kalamazoo, MI (d. 1938). Popular author and playwright; opposed World War I.

  • 1893 Dorothy C. Kahn born Seattle, WA (d. 1955). International social worker; Chief of UN Social Welfare promoting human rights and economic welfare 1950-55; began biennial Report on the World Social Situation (RWSS); delegate to international conference on child welfare.

  • 1906 Suzanne Bastid born Rennes, Brittany (d. 1965). International lawyer, first French woman professor of law; on first international (League of Nations) committee on status of women 1937; President World Court 1949-52.

  • 1908 Sita Akka Paulickpulle born Sri Lanka (d. 2003). American nurse and teacher. Peace poet at Washington Peace Center; protested against war at White House.

  • 1915 Julia Henderson born DuQuoin, IL (d. 2013). Lifelong UN employee, 1945-70. Secretary General, International Planned Parenthood Federation, London, 1971-78. Received UN Populations Award, 1991.

  • 1918 Fay Honey Knopp born Bridgeport, CT (d. 1995). Quaker minister and peace activist. Gandhian pacifist; feminist; draft counselor; prison abolitionist; sexual abuse prevention pioneer. Founded Prison Research Education Action Program (PREAP), 1976.

  • 1924 Hedy Epstein born Freiburg, Germany. Holocaust survivor; peace missions to Cambodia and Central America 1989; nonviolent protests against Israeli wall and destruction 2005; March to Free Gaza March 2009; hunger strike Cairo 2009-10.

  • 1930 Selma James born Brooklyn, NY. Socialist reformer. Active in West Indian independence, 1960; first Organizing Secretary for Campaign Against Racial Discrimination, 1965; International Coordinator for grassroots women's network Global Women's Strike, 2000.

  • 1938 Maxine Waters born St. Louis, MO. US Congresswoman for Los Angeles 1990; opposed Iraq War; founder and chair of Out of Iraq Caucus; urged impeachment of president; arrested for nonviolent protests against Apartheid and Haiti.

  • 1945 Khaleda Zia born Dinajpur, East Bengal. First woman prime minister of Bangladesh 1991-6, 2001-6; actively supported UN peacekeeping; under house arrest by opposition 1971.

  • 1949 Janet Museveni born Bwongyera, Uganda. Founded Ugandan Women's Effort to Save Orphans UWESO 1986; First Lady of Uganda 1986; led fight against AIDS; founded Creators of Peace 1991.

Women's peacemaking on this day

  • 1918 First suffrage protesters sentenced to 10-12 days in DC prison workhouse; they began hunger strike, and were released five days later.

  • 1949 Eleventh WILPF conference Copenhagen opposed Cold War alliances NATO.

  • 1963 Thich Nu Dien Quang immolated herself Vietnam, age 27, first of 20 nuns.

  • 1973 Greenpeace activists Mary Lornie and Ann-Marie Horne attacked in Vega by French navy Moruroain protest against nuclear tests.

  • 1978 Mirapuri, City of Peace established by commission of The Mother in Novara, Italy.

  • 1989 Im Su Kyong arrested for crossing Korean DMZ in protest against disunity.

  • 1994 Noellen Heyzer appointed Director of UNIFEM, first woman from south half of the globe.