December 9

Women peacemakers born today

  • 1893 Muriel Lester born Leytonstone, Essex (d. 1968). "Mother of World Peace"; pacifist writer and lecturer; Socialist; settlement worker. Opposed World Wars I & II as early member of Fellowship of Reconciliation, 1914; friend of Gandhi; interned by British in Trinidad, repatriated to Holloway prison in England, 1941.

  • 1895 Whina Cooper born Hokianga, North Island, New Zealand (d. 1994). "Mother of the Nation." Maori leader of hikoi, nonviolent march against loss of lands, 1975; first president Maori Women’s Welfare League, 1951.

  • 1930 Felicia Langer born Tarnow, Poland. Israeli human rights activist lawyer; recipient of Alternative Nobel Prize, 1990.

  • 1934 Judi Dench born Heworth, North Riding Yorkshire, England. British actress; supporter of Survival International for protection of tribal peoples.

  • 1946 Sonia Gandhi born Lusiana, Italy. Nonviolent Indian leader of Congress Party, 1998; United Progressive Alliance, 2004.

  • 1946 Biserka Momcinovic born Zagreb, Yugoslavia. Croatian peacemaker. Signed 1991 Antiwar Campaign Charter declaration affirming that, despite cultural differences, people can work together; actively intervened to protect Serbs from Croatian actions in Balkan war; organized two anti-war protests against Iraq war in Enough of Wars campaign. Nobel Peace Prize nominee, 2005.

  • 1964 Ashima Kaul born Srinagar, Kashmir, India. Kashmiri peacemaker; journalist. Founded Athwaas (“Handshake”), forming dialogue between Muslim and Hindu women to get peace, 2001; founded Yakjah (“Being together”) Reconciliation and Development Network to counter violence, 2002; Joan Kroc Woman Peacemaker, 2014.

Women's peacemaking on this day

  • 1897 First issue of La Fronde, feminist pacifist journal, Paris.

  • 1940 Nonviolent woman Ambus Salaam went with Gandhi to Karachi to quiet riots with love.

  • 1964 UN Human Rights Convention on Marriage effective.

  • 1968 Eleanor Roosevelt given first UN Human Rights Prize.

  • 2010 Human rights lawyer Claudia Paz y Paz named Guatemala's first woman Attorney General, eventually achieving conviction of war criminals and first laws outlawing violence against women.

  • 2010 Marisela Escobedo Ortiz, human rights activist, murdered in Chihuahua, Mexico.

  • 2014 Military court convicted war resister Sara Beining of desertion, with a sentence of 4 months time served and a Bad Conduct Discharge from the Army.