January 16

Women peacemakers born today

  • 1825 Emily Gardner Phenis born Union County, Indiana (d. 1906). Quaker schoolteacher and reformer; radical non-resistant abolitionist; vegetarian. Opposed all use of force.

  • 1900 Adelaide Sinclair born Toronto, Canada (d. 1982). UN Canadian diplomat, 1947; UNICEF Deputy Director, 1957-1967.

  • 1933 Susan Sontag born New York, NY (d.2004). Essayist; opposed Vietnam War, made trip to Hanoi, 1967; lived in Sarajevo during siege, 1993.

  • 1914 Ruth Stamm Dear born Bronx, NY. Radical Unitarian; pacifist; active in War Resisters League & Grey Panthers; took part in first civil disobedience at age of 71, 1985.

  • 1938 Helga Hernes born Deutsch-Krone, West Prussia (now Wałcz, Poland). Norwegian diplomat, cabinet member, and expert on women's issues. Two-time State Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs with Gro Brundtland, 1988-89, 1990-93; Norwegian ambassador to Austria, Slovakia, and Switzerland; advisor at Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO), 2005-present.

  • 1942 Nicole Fontaine born Normandy, France. First female president of European Parliament, 1999-2001.

  • 1964 Merlie “Milet” Mendoza born Philippines. Peacemaker. Joined Office of Peace Commissioner 1991. coordinated Culture of Peace program Sulu 2005; Peace and Human Security program in Basilan and Sulu 2002; assisted humanitarian relief, Mindanao, 2001. division chief Peace Consultation program 1994; Director Office of Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process 1993; deputy peace commissioner 1989; kidnapped for two months, Basilan, 2008. Joan Kroc Woman Peacemaker, 2010.

Women's peacemaking on this day

  • 1907 Jane Addams published Newer Ideals of Peace.

  • 1958 Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament founded on women's initiative.

  • 1966 In Oakland, CA, Joan Baez jailed at Vietnam War protest.

  • 1982 In Minneapolis, Polly Mann and Marianne Hamilton founded Women Against Nuclear Madness.

  • 1992 Adelita Medina led Military Families Support Network in White House peace vigil to help soldiers affected by trauma of Gulf War.

  • 2002 Statute of Sierra Leone War Crimes Tribunal included rape as crime against humanity.