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."