January 19

Women peacemakers born today

  • 399 Pulcheria born Constantinople (d. 453). Empress of Eastern Roman Empire; influenced peace with Attila the Hun, 450.

  • 1856 Margaret Ashton born Withington, Manchester, England (d. 1937). Suffragist; pacifist. First woman to serve as City Councilor, Manchester, 1908. Barred from attending Hague Women's Peace Conference, 1915; founding member of WILPF.

  • 1940 Mary Burton born Buenos Aires, Argentina. Commissioner of South African Truth & Human Rights, 1995; Head of Black Sash 1986-90.

  • 1951 Phyllis Bennis born Los Angeles, CA. American journalist and author; peace activist; opponent of Israeli occupation and Gaza war; began activism opposing Vietnam War, supporting Civil Rights movement, 1969. Head of New Internationalism Project at Institute for Policy Studies (IPS); founded U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, 2002; opposed US imperialism, esp. Iraq and Afghan Wars, Libya intervention, ISIS bombing.

  • 1952 Helen Mack Chang born Retalhuleu, Guatemala. Human rights activist; challenged Guatemalan justice system.

  • 1953 Sylvia Steiner born Saõ Paulo, Brazil. Judge of International Criminal Court, 2002; presiding judge over war crimes trial of Jean-Pierre Bemba for charges of mass rape in Central African Republic.

Women's peacemaking on this day

  • 1843 Dorothea Dix presented Memorial to the Legislature of Massachusetts on treatment of the insane in state facilities.
  • 1915 In Stockholm, Anna Whitlock assumed leadership of Central Committee for Women’s Peace meetings.

  • 1981 Women marched around the White House, marking revival of feminist militancy.

  • 2015 NGO WoMin held South African exchange "Women Stand their Ground Against Big Coal" in Stay City, Berea, Johannesburg.