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.