August 20

Women peacemakers born today

  • 1881 Rosa Manus born Amsterdam (d. 1943). Dutch feminist and pacifist; WILPF founding member; archivist founded IAV International Archive of Women 1935; visited women Latin America with Carrie Chapman Catt, 1921-23; deported and died in Nazi concentration camp Ravensbrück.

  • 1905 Alice Wedega born Alo Alo, Papua New Guinea (d. 1987). Peacemaker at home and Northern Ireland; first woman legislator 1961; conscientious objector.

  • 1907 Marthe Dortel-Claudot born Vic-sur-Cère, France. Co-founded nonviolent Catholic fellowship Pax Christi 1945 for reconciliation with Germans.

  • 1926 Gaositwe K.T. Chiepe born Serowe, Bechuanaland. First woman in Botswana cabinet 1974; top ambassador, 10 years Foreign Minister 1984-94; active in negotiation of Lomé Conventions for European trade and aid to Africa 1975; supported UN measures against Apartheid and promoted Namibian independence; observed elections Zanzibar, Zimbabwe 2000.

  • 1932 Lonnie Nelson born Seattle, WA (d. 2014). Communist labor leader; civic organizer; protested Vietnam War; supported Stockholm Peace Appeal. Founded Seattle Mothers for Police Accountability (MFPA); arrested 3 times for civil disobedience for Indian fishing rights, against Apartheid, and Medicare cuts.

  • 1936 Undine von Blottnitz born Berlin, Germany (d. 2001). Politician; dedicated to nonviolence, sustainable ecology, and anti-nuclear action. Member of European Parliament, 1984-89, 1994-99.

  • 1942 Alison Des Forges (née Liebhafsky) born Schenectady, NY (d. 2009). Human rights activist; expert on Rwanda genocide and Congo.

Women's peacemaking on this day

  • 1991 Nonviolent resistance to coup Moscow led by Russana reached critical stage.

  • 1991 Moana Cole of New Zealand and Sue Frankel-Streit sentenced one year prison for Griffis AFB New Year's Dayprotest.

  • 2009 Second Women's International Grassroots Peace Congress held under the theme "Women, Peace and Community," Meru, Kenya.

  • 2011 First African Slut Walk against sexual violence, Capetown.