January 4

Women peacemakers born today

  • 1840 Matilde Bajer born Frederikseg, Denmark (d. 1934). Danish peace leader; peace partner of 1908 Nobel Peace Prize laureate; feminist and suffragist. Founded Danish Women's Peace Association, 1906; first woman elected to Danish upper house, 1918; first president Women's Union for Progress, 1886.

  • 1904 Renuka Ray born Calcutta, India (d. 1997). Lifelong nonviolent follower of Gandhi; UN delegate, 1949; member of Indian parliament, 1957-67.

  • 1943 Doris Kearns Goodwin born Brooklyn, NY. Historian; early Vietnam war protester.

  • 1956 Zehava Schnipitzky Gal-On born Vilnius, Lithuania, USSR. Israeli politician, 1999-present; Meretz party leader; member of B'Tselem, supporting evacuation of West Bank, and right of return. Served five-day prison term for organizing demonstration against the demolition of Qalqilyah homes; opposed second Lebanon war, 2006; opposed Gaza invasion, 2014.

  • 1965 Julia Ormond born Epsom, England. Actress; active in opposition to human trafficking; UN Goodwill Ambassador, 2005.

  • 1981 Alicia Garza born Los Angeles, CA. Community organizer; anti-racism activist. Co-founded Black Lives Matter movement, 2013.

  • 1991 Tal al-Mallouhi born Homs, Syria. Jailed for blogging, 2008; received 5-year prison sentence for spying.

Women's peacemaking on this day

  • 1929 WILPF held conference in Frankfurt am Main on the topic of "Modern Methods of Warfare and the Protection of the Civil Population." Scientists in attendance included Albert Einstein. "The next war. . . will be a war of simultaneous extermination of the people and threatens to destroy all civilization."

  • 1945 Maria Occhipinti lay in front of Italian army trucks at Ragusa to protest conscription.

  • 1957 In Cuba, the mother of William Soler, a 14-year-old tortured and killed for suspicion of revolutionary activities, led hundreds in the Santiago Women's March, the first public protest against the Batista regime.

  • 2003 Kathryn Blume and Sharon Bower began the Lysistrata Project in opposition to the Iraq War.

  • 2003 Donna Sheehan led Unreasonable Women Baring Witness in protest, spelling out “NO WAR” with their nude bodies on a Marin, California hillside.