January 26

Women peacemakers born today

  • 1893 Louise Weiss born Arras, France (d. 1983). Journalist and dramatist; feminist; suffragist; politician. Promoted European unity; founded School of Peace, 1930; founded Institute of Polemology, 1945. Worked with League of Nations for post-WWI reconciliation; member of French Resistance, WWII; member of European Parliament, who later named their main building in her honor.

  • 1893 Wu Yi-Fang born Wuchang, China (d. 1985). PhD biologist; diplomat; first female Chinese university president, 1928-52. One of four women to sign UN Charter, 1945; assisted in governmental education reforms, 1949; delegate to World Peace Congress, Finland, 1955.

  • 1912 Yukika Sohma born Japan (d. 2008). Japanese pacifist; opposed WWII and apologized for Japan’s role. Founded Japan-Korea Women’s Association, 1977; founded Association to Aid the Indochinese Refugees (later Assn. for Aid and Relief), 1979.

  • 1921 Elisabeth Kirkby born Bolton, England. Actress; Australian politician; protested nuclear tests and Vietnam War.

  • 1931 Ruth S. Morgenthau born Vienna, Austria (d. 2006). American professor of international politics, specializing in African affairs; US delegate to UN; founded Food Corps International to combat world hunger.

  • 1944 Angela Davis born Birmingham, AL. Philosophy professor; 1960s radical activist; opposed Vietnam War and Iraq War; advocated abolition of prisons.

  • 1953 Ulrike Poppe born Rostock, Germany. East German resister; leader of "Peaceful Revolution," 1989-90. Co-founded Women for Peace, 1983; co-founded Initiative for Peace & Human Rights, 1985; awarded Theodor Heuss Medal for nonviolent demonstrations as correct path to democracy, 1991.

  • 1966 Galuh Wandita. Indonesian peacemaker in Timor, Kalimantan and Papua. UN human rights officer, East Timor, 2000; deputy director UN-backed Timor Truth and Reconciliation Commission (CAVR), 2002; Director International Center for Transnational Justice ICTJ, Jakarta, 2005. Nobel Peace Prize nominee, 2005.

Women's peacemaking on this day

  • 1901 Emily Hobhouse exposed British concentration camps in South Africa.

  • 1989 In Buenos Aires, Madres de la Plaza de Mayo issued platform of protest against government disappearances.

  • 1990 Diana Hirschi, a Quaker, acquitted of trespass at Hercules plant manufacturing Trident II missiles in West Valley, UT. She justified her actions through the principles of free speech, international law, and the threat of nuclear war.

  • 1991 Molly Yard, president of the National Organization for Women, spoke for Middle East peace in a Washington DC rally.

  • 1995 Dorothy Brownold sentenced to 6 months in prison for protest against Concord Naval weapons.