Sirimavo Bandaranaike (née Sirima Ratwatte) born Ratnapura, Ceylon April 17, 1916 (d. 2000). Sri Lankan stateswoman; world’s first female head of state 1960; 3 times prime minister 1960-5, 1970-7, 1994-2000; Socialist; Buddhist; founder of Non-Aligned Movement in Cold War 1961ff. Successfully mediated India-China dispute 1962; peacefully settled India boundary 1964; proposed Indian Ocean as Zone of Peace 1970.
“I am happy to attend this great assembly not only as a representative of my country but also as a woman and a mother who can understand the thoughts and feelings of the millions of women, the mothers of this world, who are deeply concerned with the preservation of the human race. . . our endeavour should be to influence world opinion to such an extent that governments, however powerful, cannot regard warfare as an alternative to negotiation.” (Belgrade, Sept. 1961)
“I share the conviction implicit in the theme ‘Equality, Development and Peace’ that a civilised world order can be built only through the joint endeavor of men and women.” (Kay Camp, “Listen to the Women”, 1975, p. 8; photo thefamouspeople.com)