December 24

Women peacemakers born today

  • 1881 Margaret Sackville born Mayfair, London 1881 (d. 1962). Anti-war poet and writer; socialist; pacifist.

  • 1943 Tarja Halonen born Helsinki. Pacifist; Finnish Foreign Minister, 1995-2000; active peacemaking in Northern Ireland; President of European Union, 1999; first female president of Finland, 2000; opposed military alliances, including NATO.

  • 1952 Petra Finsterle-Häbler born Zürich, Switzerland (d. 2012). German peace activist; second-generation WILPF member. Founded radical alternative cabaret Club Voltaire Munich 2001; organizer anti-SIKO protest against NATO 2009.

  • 1956 Irene Khan born Dhaka, Bangladesh. First female Secretary General of Amnesty International, 2001-09; UN High Commission for Refugees, 1990, leading missions to India, 1991, and Macedonia, 1999; recipient of Sydney Peace Prize, 2006; featured in antiwar movie Soldiers of Peace, 2009.

  • 1973 Kerry Nettle born Sydney, Australia. Australian senator; Green Party environmentalist. Against nuclear weapons and power; critic of Israeli wars in Lebanon and Gaza; opposed US base in Australia and war in Afghanistan. Interrupted President Bush’s speech to oppose Iraq War and Guantanamo, 2003.

Women's peacemaking on this day

  • 1925 Nonviolent leader Sarojini Naidu elected first woman president of Indian National Congress, Kanpur.

  • 1944 German woman Elisabeth Vincken sheltered three American soldiers and four German soldiers in Hűrtgen Forest during the Battle of the Bulge.

  • 1968 Claire Culhane began 19-day "Enough/Assez" outdoor film campaign against Vietnam War in Ottawa.

  • 2004: Binalakshmi Nepram began movement leading to Manipur Women Guns Survivor Network.