January 18

Women peacemakers born today

  • 1882 Anna Siemsen born Westphalia, Germany (d. 1952). German; professor; peace educator; member of WILPF. Protested World Wars I and II; voted against military expansion as Socialist pacifist member of Reichstag, 1928-30; exiled from Germany, 1933; worked for European unity after WWII.

  • 1930 Maria de Lourdes Pintasilgo born Abrantes, Portugal (d. 2004). Chemical engineer; Portuguese ambassador to UNESCO, 1975; Portuguese Prime Minister, 1979; first female candidate for Portuguese presidency, 1986; member of European Parliament, 1987; signatory of leaders' declaration on abolition of nuclear weapons, 1998.

  • 1952 Rita Thapa born Kathmandu, Nepal Peacemaker. Served as mediator during Maoist insurgency, 2001. Founded Nagarik Aawaz (“The Voice of the Citizen”) for conflict transformation and peacebuilding, 2001. Ashoka Fellow, 1998; Nobel Peace Prize nominee, 2005.

Women's peacemaking on this day

  • 1867 Lucretia Mott co-founded Pennsylvania Peace Society.

  • 1968 Eartha Kitt spoke out against the Vietnam War at White House luncheon.

  • 1982 Greenham women "keened" in wordless protest outside Houses of Parliament.

  • 2001 Barbara River and Sylvia Boyes acquitted of trying to damage HMS Vengeance at Barrow-in-Furness in 1999 Trident Protest.

  • 2003 Two women in pink protested against war outside White House.