July 16

Women peacemakers born today

  • 1194 Clare of Assisi born Assisi, Umbria (d. 1253). Twice repelled armed invaders by nonviolence 1234.

  • 1836 Augusta Jane Chapin born Lakeville, NY (d. 1905). Universalist Minister, chief woman organizer of Parliament of World's Religions Chicago 1893.

  • 1862 Ida B. Wells born Holly Springs, MS (d. 1931). Editor and journalist who began anti-lynching campaign 1892; appealed to President; co-founder NAACP; suffragist; international lecturer.

  • 1880 Kathleen Norris born San Francisco, CA (d. 1966). Popular American author; feminist. Wrote pacifist text What Price Peace? A Handbook of Peace for American Women, 1928.

  • 1908 Aruna Asaf Ali born Kalka, Punjab, India (d. 1996). Socialist freedom fighter; "Grand Old Lady" of nonviolent independence movement; first mayor of Delhi; facilitated liberation of Goa; jailed in independence movement 1930, 1932, 1941; Nehru Peace Prize 1996, Lenin Peace Prize 1964.

  • 1939 Ruth Perry born Grand Cape Mount, Liberia. "Mother of Liberia", Muslim, First woman president of Liberia 1996 following civil war in which she refused to take sides, using a "mother's voice."

  • 1941 Gladys Marín born Curepto, Maule, Chile (d. 2005). Nonviolence advocate. Leader of Chilean Communist Party, 1994-2005. Stood in opposition to Pinochet regime's human rights violations; filed first complaint against Pinochet, 1998. Nobel Peace Prize nominee, 2005.

  • 1946 Louise Frechette born Montreal, Quebec. First Deputy Secretary-General of UN 1997-2006, responsible for administrative reforms; Canadian diplomat and stateswoman.

  • 1946 Barbara Lee born El Paso, TX. Only member of Congress who voted against Iraq War; US Representative for Bay Area 1998 led aid to Caribbean, global fight on AIDS; won Sean MacBride Peace Prize 2002.

  • 1964 Aida Touma-Sliman born Nazareth, Palestine. Christian-born Arab peacemaker. Israeli citizen and member of the Knesset. Co-founder and CEO, Women Against Violence (WAV), 1992. Co-founded Al-Badeel, a coalition against honor killings, 1993. Coordinator of Engendering the Peace Process, 1995-96. Offered food and medical relief to West Bank during Israeli invasion of West Bank and Gaza, 2001. Upon election to Knesset, assumed leadership of Committee on the Status of Women and the newly established Anti-Racism Caucus, 2015.

Women's peacemaking on this day

  • 1848 First Meeting of women organizers of Seneca Falls Convention.

  • 1854 Elizabeth Jennings resisted eviction from segregated NY City trolley.

  • 1888 Successful end of London Matchgirls' Strike, led by Annie Besant.

  • 1965 WILPF's 50th anniversary celebrated at Hague conference, call to end Vietnam War.

  • 1965 American and Vietnamese womens’ conference in Jakarta called for end of war.

  • 1974 Françoise Giroud first French Minister of Women's Affairs.

  • 1983 Greenham women painted US Blackbird spy plane.

  • 2010 Brazilia Consensus of Latin American Women urged governments to give women equal rights.

  • 2014 Lynn Pollock of Jewish Voice for Peace arrested at Chicago Boeing office protest against Gaza invasion. "Boeing, Boeing, Blood is flowing."