January 9

Women peacemakers born today

  • 1854 Anna Kuliscioff born Moskaya, Crimea (d. 1925) Italian feminist, socialist-anarchist doctor and editor; opposed World War I and Mussolini.

  • 1859 Carrie Chapman Catt born Ripon, WI (d. 1947). Suffragist. Instrumental in the founding of numerous women's organizations: the Women's Peace Party, 1915; the League of Women Voters, 1920; the Committee on the Cause and Cure of War, 1924. Supported the League of Nations and the UN.

  • 1868 Irene Marryat Parlby born London, England (d. 1965). Canadian delegate to League of Nations, 1930; one of the Famous Five, a group of women who greatly impacted women's rights in Canada.

  • 1877 Emily Newell Blair born Joplin, MO (d. 1951). Suffragist; feminist; politician. Co-founder of the League of Women Voters, 1920; first female vice chair of the Democratic National Committee, 1921; contributor to Why Wars Must Cease, 1935, though expressed support of both World Wars.

  • 1908 Simone de Beauvoir born Paris, France (d. 1986). French feminist; existentialist philosopher; wrote landmark feminist text The Second Sex, 1949. Opposed World War I, nuclear weapons, Vietnam War.

  • 1935 Jeanne Devos born Kortenaken, Belgium. Nun; worked over 40 years to end child slavery in India; Nobel Prize nominee.

  • 1939 Susannah York born London, England (d. 2011). British actress; vice-president of the Movement for the Abolition of War; protested nuclear weapons, 1984 and the Iraq War, 2003; campaigned to free Mordechai Vanunu.

  • 1941 Joan Baez born Staten Island, NY. Antiwar singer; founded Institute for Nonviolence, 1965.

  • 1952 Rigoberta Menchu born Chimel, Guatemala. Indigenous rights advocate ;UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador; awarded Nobel Peace Prize, 1992.

  • 1952 Eveline Herfkens born The Hague, Netherlands. UN Undersecretary for Millennium Goals, 2002; recipient of first International Commitment to Development Award, 2003.

  • 1957 Sisi Khampepe born Soweto, Transvaal. Commissioner of South Africa Truth & Reconciliation Commission, 1995; Justice of South Africa Constitutional Court, 2009.

  • 1968 Alice Wairimu Nderitu born Nairobi, Kenya. Commissioner Kenya’s National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC), 2009 resolving ethnic conflicts; instrumental in peace referendum, 2010; sole woman who negotiated Nakuru Peace, 2012.

Women's peacemaking on this day

  • Feast Day of St. Marciana (d. 303 Caesarea, Mauritania) who resisted rape by gladiators, and converted one of her attackers.

  • 1982 Women chained themselves to the gates of a Mormon Temple in Kensington, MD in nonviolent protest.

  • 2004 Guerrilla Girls exhibition “Yo! What Happened to Peace?” at Transport Gallery, Los Angeles, CA.