January 21

Women peacemakers born today

  • 1831 Anna White born Brooklyn, NY (d. 1910). Shaker eldress and reformer; vice president Alliance of Women for Peace.

  • 1928 Helen Chavez born Brawley, CA. Nonviolent advocate for farm workers; inspired her husband, César; arrested four times for civil disobedience; jailed 3 days for shouting, "Huelga!"

  • 1928 Rita Steinhagen (d. 2006). Catholic nun; medical technician; volunteer Witness for Peace Nicaragua; twice arrested in protest against School of Americas, 1996; sentenced to 6 months prison, 1997. Founded the Minneapolis-based Bridge organization for runaway youth, 1971.

  • 1952 Emily Lau Wai-hing born Hong Kong. Journalist and politician; pro-democracy advocate. Chair of Democratic Party, 2012. Arrested for democracy protests, 1996, 2014.

  • 1965 Deniz Ũlke Ariboğan born Istanbul, Turkey. Turkish professor of international relations, focused in countering the effects of terrorism. Rector of Bahçesehir University, 2007-10. Nobel Peace Prize nominee.

Women's peacemaking on this day

  • Feast Day of Blessed Cristina of Assisi (d. 1258), companion of St. Claire.

  • 304 Martyrdom of St. Agnes of Rome (281-304), who repelled rapists by nonviolence.

  • 1931 Ganghaben Vaidya injured by British lathi charge in nonviolent protest Borsad, joined by 17-year-old Lilavati.

  • 1963 Suicide of Helen Allegranza, Secretary of Committee of 100 against nuclear weapons, on her release from year’s imprisonment Holloway Prison for Wethersfield AFB protest.

  • 1980 Women for Peace founded, Norway.

  • 1984 Women's resistance camp set up at Netherlands Volkel airbase to protest nearby stationing of nuclear weapons.

  • 2007 Seema Dhundia led UN's all-female peacekeeping force into Liberia.

  • 2012 British Ambassador Julie Chappell organized 12,000-person human chain at Volcan de Agua to protest Guatemalan domestic violence.

  • 2014 Under the sponsorship of UN Women, Women of Syria came together in Geneva to issue an online video appealing for peace.