January 26

Women peacemakers born today

  • 1893 Louise Weiss born Arras, France (d. 1983). Journalist and dramatist; feminist; suffragist; politician. 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.

  • 1912 Yukika Sohma born Japan (d. 2008). Japanese pacifist; opposed WWII and apologized for Japan’s role. Founded Japan-Korea Women’s Association, 1977.

  • 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.

  • 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. 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.

  • 2003 In Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, women lay naked in the snow, spelling out “PEACE” to protest the Iraq War.

  • 2016 Cochin woman PS Jaya painted herself black in 125-day protest against caste discrimination.