February 1

Women peacemakers born today

  • 1882 Hiro Ohashi born Japan (d. 1973). Japanese botanist. Delegate to Fourth WILPF congress, Washington DC, 1924. President, Japan Women’s University, 1947-56.

  • 1972 Leymah Gbowee born Liberia. Nonviolent activist; worked to end Liberian civil war through nonviolent means, 2003. Shared Nobel Peace Prize with Tawakkol Karman & Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, 2011.

  • 1980 Ellen Trane Norby born Herning, Denmark. Leader in Dutch Liberal Youth, 1995; president of European Liberal Youth, 2002-2004; elected to Danish parliament, 2005; UN delegate, 2006.

  • 1985 Asmaa Mahfouz born Egypt. Sparked nonviolent Egyptian revolution via video blog calling for assembly at Tahrir Square, 2011. Co-founder of April 6 Youth Movement.

Women's peacemaking on this day

  • Feast day of St. Verdiana (1182-1242) Nonviolent disciple of St. Francis who tamed snakes without fear.
  • 1892 In Vienna, Bertha von Suttner published first issue of peace journal Die Waffen nieder!

  • 1991 In Akron, OH, NOW's Young Feminist Conference protested the Gulf War.
  • 1992 Katherine Dunham, 83-year-old African-American dancer, began 47-day hunger strike in protest of America's forced repatriation of Haitian refugees.
  • 1999 Five British Women arrested Barrow, England for posting "Women Want Peace" on Trident submarine.

February 2

Women peacemakers born today

  • 1745 Hannah More born Bristol, England (d. 1833). Proto-feminist English playwright. First female abolitionist; member of Clapham Sect, an organization for social reform.

  • 1865 Kate Crane-Gartz born Chicago, IL (d. 1949). Heiress to Crane plumbing fortune; pacifist labeled as a "Parlor Bolshevik" for her views; mother to two World War I soldiers who wrote her about the "useless slaughter" they witnessed. Opposed WWI; appealed to President Harding on behalf of conscientious objectors; provided funding for WILPF.

  • 1889 Amrit Kaur born Lucknow, India (d. 1964). Gandhian independence leader; resident of Gandhi's ashram, as secretary; imprisoned for her participation in Indian independence activities, including the 1930 Dandi March, the 1937 Bannu Mission, and the 1942 Quit India campaign. Served as a founding UNESCO delegate, 1945-46; headed Indian Ministry of Health, 1947-57; first woman president of the World Health Assembly, 1950.

  • 1937 Lea Ackermann born Völklingen, Germany. Catholic nun. Founded organization SOLWODI (Solidarity with Women in Distress) to combat sex tourism, human trafficking, and forced prostitution, 1985.

Women's peacemaking on this day

  • 1932 WILPF presented petition bearing 6 million women's signatures to World Disarmament Conference, Geneva. "Oppressed by great fear—the fear of the destruction of our civilization—but also moved by a great will for peace…"
  • 1966 WILPF delivered document "An Appeal to American Women to Help Stop the War in Vietnam!" to White House.

February 3

Women peacemakers born today

  • 1861 Alice Locke Park born Boston, MA (d. 1961). Absolute pacifist; opposed Spanish-American War; quit Unitarian society over its failure to oppose World War I. Delegate to International Women's Congress for Peace and Freedom, the Hague, 1915; member of Ford Peace Expedition, 1915; leader of WILPF. Founded Palo Alto Women's Peace Party, 1915. Her poem "Disarm Christmas" opposed the giving of war toys.

  • 1866 Alice Chown born Ontario, Canada (d. 1949). Canadian radical pacifist and suffragist. Active at Hague Peace Conference, 1915; founded Women's Peace Organization in Toronto and Women's League of Nations Association, 1930.

  • 1909 Simone Weil born Paris, France (d. 1943). Philosopher and social activist. Advocate of nonviolence; anarchist. Aided German communists fleeing Hitler's regime, 1932; took part in France's general strike, 1933.

  • 1952 Ruth Misselwitz born Zützen, Brandenburg, Germany. Protestant pastor. Founded Pankow Peace Circle, opposing East German regime, 1981; leader of Women for Peace, 1982. Led church peace and environmental movement in GDR; Action Reconciliation chairman.

  • 1957 Sima Samar born Jaghori, Afghanistan. UN Special Rapporteur for human rights in Sudan, 2005; current Chairperson of Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission. Recipient of numerous human rights awards, including the Tipperary International Peace Prize, 2010.

Women's peacemaking on this day

  • 1893 Abigail Ashbrook of Willingboro, NJ refused to pay her taxes because she was denied the right to vote.
  • 1939 Gandhi's wife Kasturba arrested in nonviolent protest at Rajkot, India.

February 4

Women peacemakers born today

  • 1873 Yella Hertzka born Vienna, Austria (d. 1948). Feminist; educator; horticulturalist. Founding member of WILPF; president of Austrian WILPF; urged disarmament of internal militias.

  • 1876 Sarah Norcliffe Cleghorn born Norfolk, VA (d. 1959). Quaker poet; pacifist; suffragist; socialist. Co-founded Anti-Enlistment League, 1915.

  • 1885 Cairine Wilson born Montreal, Canada (d. 1962). First female Canadian senator, 1930-1962; president of Canadian League of Nations Society, 1938-44; first Canadian female delegate to UN, 1949. Opposed Munich Agreement, 1938; welcomed Jewish refugees.

  • 1896 Olive Ewing Clapper born Kansas City, MO (d. 1968). American peace advocate; author and lecturer. National treasurer of WILPF; promoter of strong UN; opponent of Cold War.

  • 1913 Rosa Parks born Tuskegee, AL (d. 2005). Described by the US Congress as, "the mother of the freedom movement." Initiated Montgomery Bus Boycott by refusal to surrender seat to a white passenger, 1955.

  • 1921 Betty Friedan born Peoria, IL (d. 2006). Feminist, author of landmark text The Feminine Mystique, 1963. Founded National Organization for Women (NOW), 1966; president of NOW, 1966-1970. Organized Women's Strike for Equality on 50th anniversary of women's suffrage, August 26, 1970. Organized campaign of civil disobedience at White House, 1992.

  • 1940 Judith Hand born Cherokee, OK. American biologist; ethologist; novelist. Pioneer in the study of biological origins of war.

  • 1940 Lalita Ramdas  born Calcutta. Indian nonviolence advocate and peace activist. Chair of Greenpeace International, 2007-10. Promoted peace with Pakistan; opposed Pokhran nuclear weapons testing, 1998. Launched Greenpeace’s flagship Rainbow Warrior II, Gdansk, 2011.

  • 1944 Andresia Vaz born Senegal. Judge; first President of Senegalese Supreme Court, 1997. Elected to International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, 2001; appointed to Appeals Chamber, 2005.

  • 1961 Kristen Delaney (d. 1985). Founder of Puget Sound Women’s Peace Camp; arrested for trespassing at Boeing cruise missile plant, Kent, WA, 1983.

Women's peacemaking on this day

  • 1981 Internationalist Gro Harlem Bruntland took office as Norwegian Prime Minister.

  • 1981 In observance of Women's Rights Day, over 3,000 women lobbied Congress in support of reproductive rights and the Equal Rights Amendment.

  • 2010 In Ghana, women of the Nkonya and Alavanyo tribes held a peace rally, ending a long feud between the two groups. "Never again shall we women of the two communities sit down and allow our men to go to war. We have seen that dialogue is mightier than the sword and the gun."

February 5

Women peacemakers born today

  • 1875 Františka Plamínková born Prague, Czechoslovakia (d. 1942). Pioneering Czech feminist; teacher; WILPF member. Elected to Czech National Assembly as senator, 1925; delegate to League of Nations, 1931; jailed by Nazis, 1939, 1942; executed by firing squad without trial, 1942.
  • 1894 Katherine Arnett born (d. 1984). Associate Secretary of American WILPF, 1964; treasurer of Central Committee for Conscientious Objectors opposing Korean War, 1968. photo Swarthmore Peace Col., WILPF)
  • 1922 Hanna Newcombe born Prague, Czechoslovakia (d. 2011). Quaker; chemist; educator. Founded the Canadian Peace Research Institute, 1961; Canadian delegate to UN, 1982; awarded Pearson Medal of Peace, 1997.

Women's peacemaking on this day

  • 250 AD St. Agatha of Catania martyred; Sicilian noblewoman resisted assault in brothel.

  • 1932 Petition for Nonviolence presented to World Disarmament Conference Geneva by Women's Peace Union and Total Disarmament Now Committee.

  • 1948 UN Women's Guild founded.

  • 2015 Nurse Helen Schietinger arrested for speaking out against torture during a House Armed Services Committee hearing on Guantanamo Bay. “Give them the rights of prisoners of war!”

February 6

Women peacemakers born today

  • 1887 Florence Luscomb born Lowell, MA (d. 1985). Suffragist; leader of WILPF; MIT-educated architect. Ran for Congress opposing Truman's anti-communism; opposed McCarthyism, nuclear war, Vietnam War; considered herself a "citizen of the world."

  • 1935 Esther Pank (d. 2010). Organized against nuclear arms; facilitated workshops on nonviolent civil disobedience. Director of National Peace Foundation's Eurasian Leadership Program. Led movement which closed nuclear power plant Shoreham, New York. Received War Resisters League 29th Annual Peace Award, 1990.

  • 1942 Sarah Brady born Kirksville, MO (d. 2015). Following her husband's paralyzation during an assassination attempt on Ronald Reagan, she spearheaded legislation to implement background checks on gun purchases.

Women's peacemaking on this day

  • 1930 Tsune Gauntlett presented a peace petition bearing the signatures of 750,000 Japanese women to London disarmament conference.
  • 1932 WILPF presented a peace petition bearing 500,000 signatures to President Hoover, Washington DC.
  • 1996 Angie Zetter arrested for trying to damage Indonesian air force plane at aerospace factory, Lancashire.
  • 2000 Tarja Halonen elected President of Finland.
  • 2006 Rosalyn Higgins elected first female president of International Court of Justice.

February 7

Women peacemakers born today

  • 1867 Laura Ingalls Wilder born Pepin, WI (d. 1957). American author.

  • 1894 Maria Dietz born Düsseldorf, Germany (d. 1980). Teacher; pacifist; activist in world peace organization of mothers and teachers, 1930s; worked to ban war toys, and promote international understanding. Co-founded political organization Christian Social People's Party, 1945; two-term member of German parliament, 1949-57.

  • 1926 Jean Melzer born Elsternwick, South Australia (d. 2013) Australian politician; peace activist. Labor Party Senator, 1974-81. Led fight against uranium; candidate for Nuclear Disarmament Party (NDP), 1984; founded Nuclear Free Australia Party, 1985. Active in United Nations Association, WILPF, Save Our Sons against conscription. Supported Palestinian and aboriginal rights; opposed Vietnam War.

  • 1979 Tawakkol Karman born Taiz, Yemen. Nonviolent leader of Yemeni revolution during 2011 Arab Spring movement; repeatedly arrested. Co-founded Women Journalists Without Chains, 2005; led weekly protests at Sanaa University, 2007-10. Shared Nobel Peace Prize with Leymah Gbowee & Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, 2011; first Arab woman Nobel recipient; youngest Nobel Peace Laureate.

Women's peacemaking on this day

  • 1983 Greenham Women invaded base to protest visit of Defense Secretary Michael Heseltine.
  • 1989 South African Women Against War opposed military service.
  • 1993 Women's Tribunal against Rape in War convened in Zagreb, Croatia.

February 8

Women peacemakers born today

  • 1910 Peggy Duff born London, England (d. 1981). Peace organizer. Worked for postwar relief organization Save Europe Now, 1945-48; helped establish the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND), 1957; CND Organizing Secretary, 1957-67. Organized Aldermaston Marches; voiced opposition to Vietnam War and Greek junta.

  • 1916 Katharina Schuddekopf born Magdeburg, Germany. Member of White Rose, nonviolent Hitler resistance movement. Disabled university student; sentenced to year in prison for knowledge of intentions to spread anti-Nazi writings, 1943.

  • 1941 Heide Göttner-Abendroth born Langewiesen, Thuringia, Germany. German feminist, student of matriarchy. Organized Societies of Peace conference, 2005; Nobel Peace Prize nominee, 2005.

  • 1958 Marina Silva born Breu Velho, Acre, Brazil. Nonviolent environmental activist; rubber tapper. Promoter of Amazon forest preservation; led early nonviolent Empate protests with assassinated leader Chico Mendes, 1980s. Senator, 1995-2011; Environment Minister, 2003-08. Green Party presidential candidate, 2010; Socialist presidential candidate, 2014.

  • 1979 Anaïs Barbeau-Lavalette born Montreal. Canadian film producer and actress; human rights advocate. Won Artists for Peace Award for film Inch’Allah on Palestine violence, 2012.

Women's peacemaking on this day

  • 1932 Dorothy Detzer convinced pacifist Republican senator Gerald Nye to investigate the role of munitions manufacturers in causing World War I.
  • 1970 Quaker Marie Bohlen had the idea to send a boat to Amchitka to protest atomic testing, laying the foundation for Greenpeace.

  • 1980 Eleanor Smeal, president of NOW, restated opposition to conscription, while noting necessity of women's inclusion: "NOW is against the registration of both young men and young women because it is a response which stimulates an environment of preparation for war. But if there is a draft, it must include women."
     
  • 2003 700+ Australian women take part in nude protest against Iraq War at Byrra Bay, Sydney, forming a big heart enclosing the phrase "NO WAR."

February 9

Women peacemakers born today

  • 1810 Betsy Mix Cowles born Bristol, CT (d. 1876). “The Maria Chapman of the West.” Leading abolitionist and suffragist educator. Quaker; absolute pacifist.

  • 1854 Aletta Jacobs born Sappemeer, Netherlands (d. 1929). First Dutch female physician; militant pacifist. Helped organize and hosted WILPF at Hague Congress, 1915.

  • 1879 Narcissa Cox Vanderlip born Quincy, IL (d. 1966). Internationalist; organizer; suffragist. Chairperson of New York League of Women Voters, 1919-23; served as judge for Bok Peace Prize with Esther Lape and Eleanor Roosevelt. Promoted League of Nations and World Court with Eleanor Roosevelt.

  • 1910 Anna Sokolow born Hartford, CT (d. 2000). American dancer and choreographer. Produced “Anti-war Trilogy” at the First Anti-War Congress, sponsored by the American League Against War and Fascism, 1933. Established Mexico's first modern dance academy, 1939.

  • 1944 Alice Walker born Eatonton GA. Author; essayist; poet; activist. Inspired by Martin Luther King, Jr., Howard Zinn, Rosa Parks, and Fannie Lou Hamer, registered Mississippi voters, 1965; with husband Melvyn Leventhal, first legally married interracial couple in Mississippi, 1967. Awarded Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, 1983; recipient of National Book Award, 1983.

  • 1945 Mia Farrow born Los Angeles, CA. American actress and humanitarian. As UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, active in campaign for African children’s welfare, 2000.

  • 1947 Carla Del Ponte born Lugano, Switzerland. Swiss Attorney General, 1994-99. Prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda, 1999-2008.

Women's peacemaking on this day

  • 1915 Peace organization The World Union of Women for International Concord founded in Geneva, Switzerland.

  • 1919 Led by Alice Paul, suffragist group The Silent Sentinels burned Woodrow Wilson in effigy at Lafayette Park, opposite White House.

  • 1919 39 women arrested in large-scale watchfire protest; those jailed began hunger strike.

  • 1991 Women Against the War in the Gulf rallied London with the motto, "Stop the War: International Sisterhood."

  • 2003 Anna Smedema arrested Volkel, Netherlands for hammering US satellite dishes used for Iraq War.

February 10

Women peacemakers born today

  • 1828 Phebe Anna Thorne born Millbrook, NY (d. 1909). Quaker minister; philanthropist; absolute pacifist. Opposed Spanish American and Boer Wars; advocated arbitration; first Directress of job assistance organization Friends Employment Society, 1902.

  • 1886 Raicho Hiratsuka born Tokyo, Japan (d. 1971). Pioneering Japanese feminist. Founded and edited first Japanese women’s journal, Bluestocking, 1911. Undertook peace mission to US on outbreak of Korean War asking for Japan to remain pacifist and neutral, 1950.

  • 1944 Frances Moore Lappé born Pendleton, OR. Author; activist; advocate for social change and sustainable living. Graduate of Quaker Earlham College, 1966. Wrote best-selling book Diet for a Small Planet, 1971. Recipient of Right Livelihood Award, 1987.

  • 1946 Louise Arbour born Montreal, Canada. Chief Prosecutor of Prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda, 1996-99; Canadian Supreme Court Justice, 1999-2004; UN Commissioner for Human Rights, 2004-08; Nobel Peace Prize nominee, 2005.

  • 1954 Gael Murphy born Paris, France. Former Foreign Service Officer, aid worker, and Peace Corps volunteer. American co-founder and international coordinator of social justice organization Code Pink. Coordinated Women's Peace Vigil, 2002; arrested for protest at Republican National Convention, 2004.

Women's peacemaking on this day

  • Feast day of St. Austreberta (630-704) Threatened with a sword, bared her neck to welcome the blade and stopped the assault.
  • 1947 First session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women held.
  • 1974 In a victory for the primarily Chicana labor force, the two-year strike and boycott campaign against Farah Textiles ended.

February 11

Women peacemakers born today

  • 1802 Lydia Maria Child born Medford, MA (d. 1880). "First Lady of the Republic." Nonviolent abolitionist; transcendentalist; author; poet; editor. Founding member, New England Non-Resistance Society, 1838.

  • 1869 Adelheid Popp born Inzersdorf, Vienna, Austria (d. 1939). Austrian feminist; suffragist; journalist. Pacifist and socialist; opposed World War I. Led first Women’s Day protest against war, 1918. Member of Parliament, 1919-34.

  • 1872 Hannah Mitchell born Hope Woodlands, England (d. 1956). British suffragist; feminist; orator. Democratic Socialist; pacifist; opposed World War I. Member of No Conscription Fellowship and WILPF; member of Manchester City Council, 1924-35; magistrate, 1926-1937.

  • 1916 Florynce Kennedy born Kansas City, KS (d. 2000). African-American radical feminist; lawyer; activist. Opposed Gulf War, Vietnam War, nuclear weapons. Member of the National Organization for Women (NOW), 1966-70.

  • 1925 Aki Kurose born Seattle, WA (d. 1998). Japanese-American Quaker and peace educator. Honored teacher of peace and nonviolence in Seattle schools. Placed in internment camp, 1942.

  • 1932 Nancy Savage Coyle. Indiana peace activist.

  • 1962 Sheryl Crow born Kennett, MO. Rock musician. Opposed nuclear weapons; voiced early opposition to Iraq War. Donated a portion of concert proceeds to UN World Food Programme, 2008.

Women's peacemaking on this day

  • 1908 54 suffragists arrested for entering Parliament from moving vans; 48 sent to prison.

  • 1911 Emma Goldman arrested in New York City for lecturing on birth control.

  • 2012 In protest of Chinese policies towards Tibet, 18-year-old Buddhist nun Tenzin Choedon died of self-immolation at Mamae convent in Sichuan, China.

February 12

Women peacemakers born today

  • 1851 Randi Blehr born Bergen, Norway (d. 1928). Norwegian feminist and peace leader. Wife of Prime Minister Otto Blehr. Chair of Norwegian Women's Peace Association, 1903-. Co-founded Norwegian Association for Women’s Rights, 1884; served as its president, 1895-99, 1903-22.

  • 1888 Clara Campoamor born Madrid, Spain (d. 1972). Spanish feminist politician and suffrage leader. Co-founded Spanish Women’s League for Peace, 1930. Among first women elected to National Assembly, 1931. Delegate to League of Nations. Director of Public Welfare, 1933. Active in League of Women Against War and Fascism, 1933. Exiled by fascist Franco regime, 1936.

  • 1891 Hanna Rydh born Stockholm, Sweden (d. 1964). Swedish archaeologist; women's rights advocate. Delegate to League of Nations, 1938; member of Swedish parliament, 1943-44; president of International Alliance of Women, 1946-52.

  • 1934 Anne Krueger born Endicott, NY. World Bank Chief Economist, 1982-86; Acting Managing Director of IMF, 2004.

  • 1967 Jennifer Fasulo born Schenectady, NY (d. 2010). Human rights activist; opposed wars in Middle East; supported women of Iran, Iraq and Afghanistan. Co-founded Solidarity with Organization of Women's Freedom in Iraq (SOWFI), 2004.

Women's peacemaking on this day

  • 1915 In Amsterdam, Aletta Jacobs convened a meeting of the International Congress of Women in response to World War I.
  • 1972 In New York, NOW's Eastern Region Conference named Jeannette Rankin "the world's outstanding living feminist."
  • 2005 Two men murdered Sister Dorothy Stang in Anapu, Brazil during her efforts to save Amazon rainforests.
  • 2012 Bahraini authorities deported American activists Huwaida Arraf and Radhika Sainath for attempting to take part in pro-democracy protest.

February 13

Women peacemakers born today

  • 1879 Sarojini Naidu born Hyderabad, India (d. 1949). Nonviolent activist for Indian independence; patriot; politician; poet known as "The Nightingale of India." Second female president of Indian National Congress, 1925.

  • 1881 Eleanor Farjeon born Westminster, London (d. 1965). Pacifist English poet and children’s storyteller. Leading poet of post-World War generation.

  • 1887 Lella Secor Florence born Battle Creek, MI (d. 1966). Militant pacifist; journalist. Served as reporter aboard Henry Ford Peace Ship, 1915; war resister during World War I; co-founded Emergency Peace Federation, 1917. Member of British chapter of WILPF.

  • 1905 Ra’ana Liaquat Ali Khan born Almora, Uttarakhand, India (d. 1990). “Mother of Pakistan”. Diplomat and stateswoman; professor of economics. First First Lady of Pakistan, 1947-51; first Muslim woman delegate to the UN, 1952. Ambassador to Netherlands, 1954-61, Italy, 1966. Awarded UN Human Rights Prize, 1978.

     

Women's peacemaking on this day

  • 1689 William and Mary assumed the British throne following the bloodless Glorious Revolution.

  • 1907 51 Suffragists arrested for march on Parliament. “Rise Up Women!—Now!”

  • 1915 In Amsterdam, pacifist women came together to make 12 resolutions to end World War I.

  • 1953 Following Gandhi's urging, Welthy Honsinger Fisher founded Saksharta Niketan literacy school in Allahabad to train educators.

  • 1967 2,500 members of the organization Women Strike for Peace demonstrated at the Pentagon.

  • 1979 Grace Paley fined $100 for displaying anti-nuke banner on White House lawn, Sept. 4, 1978. "No Nuclear Weapons—No Nuclear Power—USA and USSR"

  • 1991 International Network of Women in Emergency Management convened a meeting in response to the Gulf War at WILPF's Geneva headquarters.

  • 2013 Mary Anne Grady Flores arrested at Hancock AFB for Ash Wednesday drone protest; sentenced to one year in prison.

February 14

Women peacemakers born today

  • 1847 Anna Howard Shaw born Newcastle-on-Tyne, England (d. 1919). Leading suffragist; internationalist; physician. First American female ordained Methodist minister. Inducted into National Women's Hall of Fame, 2000.

  • 1876 Keith Ransom-Kehler born Dayton, KY (d. 1933). Prominent Baha'i envoy; lectured throughout the world for peace and equality on behalf of her faith. Friend of Jane Addams; charter member of WILPF.

  • 1877 Julia Bertrand born Vosges, France (d. 1960). Nonviolent anarchist; radical anti-militarist; president of League of Feminists Against War (LFCG). Detained in prison camp for anti-military views, 1914-15.

  • 1885 Hazel E. Foster born Cleveland, OH (d. 1975). Professor; minister; educator. Social activist with organizations including Quaker Fellowship, the League of Women Voters, WCTU, SANE, ACLU, Jane Addams Peace Association, WILPF.

  • 1890 Jeanne Alexandre born Paris, France (d. 1980). French feminist; integral pacifist and socialist. Advocated laying on tracks to stop draftee trains; supported peace initiative that led to foundation of WILPF, 1915.

  • 1904 Jessie Lloyd O'Connor born Winnetka, IL (d. 1988). Daughter of WILPF founding member Lola Maverick Lloyd. Journalist; social activist; second-generation WILPF member; lifelong pacifist. Traveled aboard Henry Ford Peace Ship as child, 1915; delegate to People's World Constitutional Convention, 1950.

  • 1941 Donna Shalala born Cleveland, OH. Served in Iran as Peace Corps volunteer, 1962-64; US Secretary of Health and Human Services, 1993-2001; University of Miami president, 2001-present.

  • 1953 Laila St. Matthew Daniel born Lagos, Nigeria. Lebanese-Nigerian psychologist. Led Nigerian Women Mourn protest against Boko Haram killings, 2014.

  • 1953 Alla Yaroshinskaya born Zhytomyr, Ukraine. Ukrainian politician and journalist; activist. Recipient of Right Livelihood Award for reporting on Chernobyl disaster, 1992; Nobel Peace Prize nominee, 2005.

  • 1970 Willemijn Verloop born Utrecht, Netherlands. Dutch peace activist. Founded War Child Netherlands in response to Bosnian conflict, 1994.

Women's peacemaking on this day

  • 1838 Elizabeth Pease Nichol wrote anti-slavery address to the women of Great Britain.

  • 1920 In Chicago, Carrie Chapman Catt founded the League of Women Voters.

  • 1945 Virginia Gildersleeve selected as the sole female American delegate to the upcoming United Nations Conference on International Organization.

  • 2002 Jenni Williams founded the nonviolent organization Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA) on the premise that, "the power of love can conquer the love of power."

  • 2012 Commemorating Valentine's Day and WOZA's 10th Anniversary, 500 female protesters marched towards Zimbabwe's Parliament. Riot police interrupted the protest and beat several women.

February 15

Women peacemakers born today

  • 1820 Susan B. Anthony born Adams, MA (d. 1906). Quaker; abolitionist; pioneering suffragist. Called "The mother of us all," by Gertrude Stein. Founded International Council for Women, 1899, and International Women's Suffrage Alliance, 1904. Active in Universal Peace Union; opposed US Civil War and Spanish-American War.
     
  • 1795 Rebecca Cox Jackson born Hornstown, PA (d. 1871). African-American pacifist preacher; Eldress of Philadelphia Shaker community.
     
  • 1882 Elisabeth Rotten born Berlin, Germany (d. 1964). Quaker pacifist; educational reformer; Swiss-German co-founder of WILPF and International Fellowship of Reconciliation. Started Quaker relief program in Germany, 1919. Internationalist observer at League of Nations; founded the League of Nations Institute for International Education, Geneva, 1921.
     
  • 1890 Klara Marie Fassbinder born Trier, Germany (d. 1974). German radical pacifist; author; educator. Fired by Nazis for opposing anti-Jewish policies; fired by postwar government for opposing rearmament. Proponent of German reunification; co-founded West German Women’s Peace Association, 1952. Opposed both World Wars, Cold War policies, nuclear stockpiling, and the Vietnam War.
  • 1910 Irena Sendler born Otwock, Poland (d. 2008). Catholic humanitarian social worker whose efforts helped save 2,500 Jewish children. Arrested in 1943, tortured and sentenced to death, but escaped. Honored by Yad Vashem as member of Polish Righteous Among the Nations, 1965.

  • 1921 Marjorie Swann Edwin born Cedar Rapids, IA. Quaker peace activist for seven decades. New England director of AFSC; founder of CORE; Coordinator of New England Committee for Nonviolent Action.

  • 1928 Mary Evelyn Jegen born Chicago, IL (d. 2014). History professor; Catholic scholar; Sister of Notre Dame de Namur. Began peace advocacy while helping students register as conscientious objectors against the Vietnam War; first executive director Bread for the World Educational Fund 1976. Founded Pax Christi USA, 1975; National Director of Pax Christi USA, 1979-82; Vice-president of Pax Christi International, 1984-90.

  • 1935 Susan Brownmiller born Brooklyn, NY. Journalist and author.

  • 1946 Clare Short born Birmingham, England. British Minister of International Development; resigned in protest against Iraq War, 2003.

  • 1949 Fatoumata Dembélé Diarra born Koulikaro, Mali. Judge of Yugoslav War Crimes Tribunal, 2003; President and founder of the Pro Bono Center for women and children in Mali.

Women's peacemaking on this day

  • 1908 For the “Self-Denial Week” fundraiser, suffragists gave up tea, coffee, and cocoa for the cause.

  • 1971 At the Black Sash Convention in Cape Town, Black Sash president Jean Sinclair voiced opposition to Apartheid.
     
  • 1982 White House fence scaled by members of the National Women's Party; 16 arrested.
     
  • 1983 Universal Peace Charter adopted by Brahma Kumaris at Mt. Abu, Rajastan, India.
     
  • 1983 500 Greenham Women protested Newbury court trial.
     
  • 1996 UN Trust Fund to Eliminate Violence Against Women established (General Assembly resolution 50/166).

February 16

Women peacemakers born today

  • 1870 Leonora O'Reilly born New York, NY (d. 1927). Labor leader; anarchist; socialist; co-founder of WILPF. Opposed World War I.

Women's peacemaking on this day

  • 1943 Mildred Fish Harnack guillotined by Hitler for resistance to Nazi regime.
  • 1989 Gunilla Ikenberg arrested in Sweden for damaging missile launcher.
  • 2012 Hana al-Shalabi began hunger strike after her arrest by Israel.
  • 2015 The Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs hosted the international symposium “Women: Powerful Agents for Peace and Security.”

  • 2017 Three young Jewish women arrested for refusal to serve in military and take part in occupation.

February 17

Women peacemakers born today

  • 1812 Ellen Sturgis Hooper born Boston, MA (d. 1848). Transcendentalist poet.

  • 1850 Ann-Margret Holmgren born Uppsala, Sweden (d. 1940). Swedish suffragist; author; pacifist. Advocated peaceful separation of Norway, 1905; Vice-President of Swedish Women’s Peace Society, 1901-10.

  • 1888 Dorothy Kenyon born New York, NY (d. 1972). Lawyer, judge, and civil rights activist. Adviser to Versailles Peace Conference; member of League of Nations, 1938-43, and UN Commissions on Women, 1946-50.

  • 1899 Fuki Kushida born Yamaguchi, Japan (d. 2001). Leading Japanese feminist; anti-nuclear peace advocate. President of Federation of Japanese Women’s Organizations, 1958. Protested US military presence on Okinawa and sexual assaults committed by foreign servicemen.

  • 1902 Marian Anderson born Philadelphia, PA (d. 1993). African-American singer. American Goodwill Ambassador, 1957; US delegate to UN Human Rights Commission, 1958; awarded UN Peace Prize, 1977.

  • 1918 Olive Frances Gibbs born Oxford, England (d. 1995). Pacifist activist and politician. Chaired Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, 1964-67; two-time mayor of Oxford, 1974-75, 1981-82.

  • 1921 Caroline Canafax born Seattle, WA (d. 2011). Peace teacher and activist. International Vice President of WILPF; sang against war with Raging Grannies. Founding editor of Pacific Vision newsletter focused on Asia-Pacific region, 1987.

  • 1935 Sara Ruddick born Toledo, OH (d. 2011). Anti-war feminist philosopher; author of Maternal Thinking: Toward a Politics of Peace, 1989.

  • 1938 Mary Frances Berry born Nashville, TN. African-American historian. Chancellor of University of Colorado Boulder, 1976; Chair of US Civil Rights Commission, 1993-2004. Arrested in anti-Apartheid protest, 1984.

Women's peacemaking on this day

  • 1958 Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament launched at a public meeting at London's Central Hall Westminster. It was followed by a protest at #10 Downing St. attended by Doris Lessing.

  • 2007 100,000 Italian Women marched in protest of US airbase at Vicenza.

  • 2012 150 women protest the arrest of Bahraini women; two foreign women leaders deported.

February 18

Women peacemakers born today

  • 1876 Alma Dolens born Perugia, Italy (d. unknown). Feminist; journalist. Leading Italian peace advocate who organized first Italian women's peace organization. Opposed Italian war against Libya, 1911.
  • 1930 Norma Becker born Bronx, NY (d. 2006). Teacher and protest leader. Founded the anti-Vietnam War protest group, the Fifth Avenue Peace Parade, 1965; founded the anti-nuclear organization Mobilization for Survival, 1977. Chairperson of War Resisters League, 1977-83.
  • 1933 Yoko Ono born Tokyo, Japan. Pacifist singer and artist. Her band, the Plastic Ono Band, released the single "Give Peace a Chance," 1969; established LennonOno peace award, 2002.
  • 1974 Julia Butterfly Hill born Mount Vernon, MO. Spent 738 days living in the redwood tree Luna in civil disobedience protest against logging practices.

Women's peacemaking on this day

  • 1943 Nazis arrested Sophie Scholl for distributing resistance leaflets in Munich.
  • 1960 In Chicago, Eroseanna Robinson received one-year prison sentence for refusing to pay taxes for war.
  • 1991 Sadako Ogata appointed UN High Commissioner for Refugees.
  • 1992 Dr. Linda Reiser discharged from US Army as conscientious objector.

February 19

Women peacemakers born today

  • 1892 Marie Lous-Mohr born Mandal, Norway (d. 1973). Norwegian nonviolent resister; International President of WILPF, 1952-56. Spent two years in Nazi concentration camp for disobeying Nazi teaching instructions.
  • 1902 Kay Boyle born St. Paul, MN (d. 1992). Author of more than 40 books of non-fiction, fiction, poetry, short stories, and children's literature. Nonviolent peace activist. Blacklisted by major periodical publications during McCarthy era.
  • 1946 Karen Silkwood born Longwood, TX (d. 1974). Anti-nuclear activist; chemist; union leader. Revealed plutonium hazards at Crescent, OK Kerr-Magee plant that courts later found to be true.
  • 1995 Faith Meckley born Geneva, NY. Environmental activist; college journalism student. Participated in Great March for Climate Action, May 2014, and Keystone protest, Washington D.C., August 2014; arrested for trespassing in protest against fracking, Seneca Lake, 2014.

Women's peacemaking on this day

  • 1942 Norwegian teachers began resistance to Nazi teaching instructions.

February 20

Women peacemakers born today

  • 1805 Angelina Grimké Weld born Charleston, SC (d. 1879). Garrisonian abolitionist; nonviolent pacifist; Quaker women's rights speaker.
  • 1941 Buffy Sainte-Marie born Saskatchewan, Canada. Canadian First Nation (Cree) singer; adherent of Bahá'í faith of international peace. Her song "Universal Soldier" protested the Vietnam War, 1963.

Women's peacemaking on this day

  • 1957 UN General Assembly approved Convention on Nationality of Women.
  • 1983 Petra Kelly advanced the German Green Party's Nuremberg Appeal, opposing nuclear weapons.
  • 1985 "Peace Exercises" protest of Songsters Opposed to Nuclear Genocide, in New Haven, Connecticut.
  • 1995 Four women arrested at Livermore Lab for climbing fence to protest violations of Nuclear Test Ban Treaty.