January 20

Women peacemakers born today

  • 1856 Harriot Stanton Blatch born Seneca Falls, NY (d. 1940). Unitarian suffragist; socialist. Began public protests for vote, 1907.

  • 1876 Jessie F. Binford born Marshalltown, IA (d. 1966). Chicago-based juvenile rights advocate; 61-year resident of Hull House. Co-founded Jane Addams Peace Association, 1948.

  • 1887 Rebecca Shelley born Sugar Valley, PA (d. 1994). Absolute pacifist, militant suffragist, and peace activist. Green Party leader. Attended Hague Women’s Peace Conference, leading to formation of WILPF, 1915. Vice-presidential candidate on pacifist write-in ticket, 1964.

  • 1907 Lina Haag born Gschwend, Baden-Württemberg, Germany (d. 2012). German resistance leader; communist. Twice imprisoned, 1933, 1933-38.

  • 1923 Amy Swerdlow born New York, New York (d. 2012). Peace advocate. Co-founded Women Strike for Peace, 1961; historian of Women Strike for Peace.

  • 1956 Valentina Cherevatenko born Donetsk, USSR. Russian human rights activist. Founded Women of the Don Region to promote human rights and peace by nonviolent means, 1993. Actively helped postwar victims of trauma in Chechnya and Donetsk. Received Anna Politkovskaya Award, 2016.

  • 1982 Larissa Shasko born Regina, Saskatoon, Canada. Canadian politician; anti-nuclear activist. Leader of Green Party of Saskatchewan, 2009-11.

Women's peacemaking on this day

  • 1947 Muslim woman Bibi Amtussalam ended 25-day fast for nonviolence with signature pledging community harmony in India with support of Gandhi.

  • 1960 Artist Eroseanna Robinson arrested in Chicago for tax refusal. "I have not filed income taxes because I know that a large part of the tax will be used for militarization. . . We have a duty to contribute constructively to life, and not destructively."

  • 1963 Gloria Richardson started the Cambridge Nonviolent Action Committee (CNAC), beginning the Cambridge Movement.

  • 1979 In response to the Mathura rape case, 40 women founded the Forum Against Rape (later Forum Against the Oppression of Women), Mumbai, India.

  • 2009 Women from the Naga community in the village of Shirui formed a human shield against Indian Security Forces in a stand-off which would continue for two weeks.

  • 2014 Women Lead to Peace Summit on Syria Monteaux, Switzerland through 22nd.