December 25

Women peacemakers born today

  • 1806 Martha Coffin Wright born Boston, MA (d. 1875). Quaker abolitionist; feminist; organizer of Seneca Falls Women's Rights Convention, 1848; conductor on Underground Railroad; president of many women's rights conventions.

  • 1821 Clara Barton born Oxford, MA (d. 1912). Pioneering war nurse, providing what she called "war on war itself." Founded American Red Cross, 1881, and extension of relief to peacetime disasters; achieved US signature to Geneva Convention, 1882.

  • 1865 Evangeline Booth born London (d. 1950). Internationalist; led relief missions to Armenians (1896), Japanese earthquake victims (1923); organized International Missing Persons Bureau.

  • 1875 Jessie Wallace Hughan born Brooklyn, NY (d. 1955). Radical pacifist; socialist; founder of Fellowship of Reconciliation, 1915; Anti-Enlistment League, 1915; War Resisters League, 1923; pioneer of civilian based defense, 1937.

  • 1884 Emmy Arnold born Riga, Latvia (d. 1980). Founder of nonviolent Bruderhof community.

  • 1903 Ava Helen Pauling born Beavercreek, OR (d. 1981). American pacifist speaker and organizer; anti-nuclear advocate. Three-time national vice-president of WILPF. Founding member, Women Strike for Peace, 1961. Introduced her chemist husband Linus Pauling to peace advocacy, for which he won his second Nobel Prize, 1962.

  • 1904 Flemmie Pansy Kittrell born Henderson, NC (d. 1980). African-American nutrition expert; professor of home economics. Credited with US Head Start program; introduced nutrition programs in many African and Asian countries. Served on WILPF International Executive Committee when policy refocused on issues of the Third World, colonial liberation, and racism, 1959-62.

  • 1913 Helen Kinnee (d. 2005). Peace activist; led weekly vigil against Titan missile in Chico, CA.

  • 1952 Annie Lennox born Aberdeen, Scotland. British pop singer; led anti-HIV campaign; protested Gaza War, 2009; petitioned for human rights in Burma.

  • 1959 Nela Pamuković born Šibenik, Croatia, Yugoslavia. Croatian lesbian feminist and antiwar activist. Active in first regional nonviolence group, 1987; Antiwar Campaign of Croatia, 1991. Co-founded Centre for Women War Victims (ROSA), 1992.

  • 1960 Betty Kaari Murungi born Meru South, Kenya. Kenyan international human rights leader. Co-founder and director of Urgent Action Fund-Africa, 2001-09. Vice-Chair of Kenyan Truth, Justice & Reconciliation Commission, 2007-10. Adviser of International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda.

Women's peacemaking on this day

  • 1914 "Open Christmas Letter" of 101 British women to women of Germany and Austria. "Is it not our mission to preserve life? Do not humanity and common sense alike prompt us to join hands with the women of neutral countries, and urge our rulers to stay further bloodshed?"

  • 1978 Chipko women of Tehri protested destruction of Badyargarh forests.

  • 2014 Topless FEMEN protester with “God is Woman” painted on her chest removed infant Jesus from Nativity scene at St. Peter’s Basilica, Rome.