January 12

Women peacemakers born today

  • 1820 Caroline Severance born Canandaigua, NY (d. 1914). Unitarian pacifist; abolitionist; suffragist. Instrumental in the founding of numerous women's organizations: Free Religious Association with Lucretia Mott, 1867; American Suffrage Association with Lucy Stone, 1869; Women's International Peace Association, 1871.

  • 1875 Esther Loeb Kohn born Chicago, IL (d. 1965). American social reformer. 30-year resident of Hull House, which she managed in Jane Addams' absence. Pacifist delegate to WILPF Conference, Vienna, 1921.

  • 1881 Hilda Clark born Somerset, England (d. 1955). Quaker; physician. Founded Friends War Victims Relief, 1914; spearheaded Friends Relief Mission Austria, 1919-22; worked with Greek refugees; involved with WILPF & Women's Peace Crusade.

  • 1909 Barbro Alving born Uppsala, Sweden (d. 1987). Pacifist; war correspondent; reported on Spanish Civil War, Finnish Winter War, Vietnam. Leader against nuclear weapons; jailed for refusal to participate in civil defense; WILPF member.

  • 1950 Sheila Jackson-Lee born Queens, NY. US Representative, 1995. Opposed Iraq War; arrested at Sudan embassy for Darfur protest, 2006; led opposition to Afghan war.

  • 1958 Christiane Amanpour born London, England. International journalist; critic of Iraq War.

Women's peacemaking on this day

  • 1998 Louise Frèchette was appointed first Deputy Secretary General of the UN, the highest rank ever achieved by a woman in an international organization.
  • 2004 30th meeting of UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). 175 nations ratified this international bill of rights for women—despite signing, the US has still not ratified it.

  • 2009 In Derry, Northern Ireland, nine women chained themselves inside a Raytheon office to protest arms sent to Israel to bomb Gaza.