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).