June 30

Women peacemakers born today

  • 1868 Mabel Cratty born Bellaire, OH (d. 1928). Internationalist; suffragist; leader of YWCA. Co-founded National Committee on the Cause and Cure of War with Carrie Chapman Catt, 1924. Promoted League of Nations and Kellogg-Briand Pact.

  • 1884 Alexandra Tolstoy born Yasnaya Polyana, Russia (d. 1979). Youngest daughter and favorite disciple of nonviolent theorist Leo Tolstoy. Founded Tolstoy Foundation which helped 500,000 refugees, including Rachmaninov and Nabokov, 1939; arrested five times by Soviets.

  • 1888 Suzanne Stephen born Pretoria, South Africa (d. 1972). Quaker. Founded anti-Apartheid organization Black Sash 1955, for which she was banned. Known as "the prisoner's friend," taught long-term detainees.

  • 1907 Madeleine Jacquemotte-Thonnart born Liège, Belgium (d. 2000). Belgian educator; communist resister. Committed activist; member of WILPF and League of Women Against War and Imperialism. Arrested and sent to Ravensbrück concentration camp, 1944; repatriated, 1945. Opposed wars in Vietnam, Cambodia and Nicaragua.

  • 1936 Assia Djebar born Cherchell, Algeria (d. 2015). Algerian novelist and filmmaker; portrayed terrible violence of Algerian War for independence with the nonviolent alternative proposed by Camus. Received Neustadt International Prize for Literature in recognition of her body of work, 1996; awarded Peace Prize of the German Book Trade, 2000.

  • 1939 Dorothy Kazel born Cleveland, OH (d. 1980). Ursuline nun abducted, raped and slain by El Salvadorian National Guardsmen.

  • 1942 Joan Halifax born Hanover, NH. Zen master (rōshi); anthropologist; activist against Vietnam War and for civil rights, 1960s. Founder and Abbot of Upaya Zen Peacemaking Center, Santa Fe, 1990.

  • 1953 Hina Jilani born Lahore, Pakistan. Human rights activist; frequently arrested by military for protests on behalf of women's rights. First UN Special Rep. For Human Rights Defenders, 2000-08; embarked upon UN fact-finding missions on Darfur, 2006, and Gaza, 2009. Founded first Pakistani women's law firm.

  • 1965 Sylvie Lucas born Luxembourg. As president of UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), dealt with global financial crisis and peacebuilding, 2009.

Women's peacemaking on this day

  • 1908 In London, 27 suffragettes arrested at Downing Street for breaking Prime Minister's windows.

  • 1915 In London, Muriel Matters delivered her speech “The False Mysticism of War” against World War I.

  •  1915 In Christiania, Chrystal MacMillan personally appealed to Danish Foreign Minister Ihlen to intervene for peace. 

  •  1915 In The Hague, Aletta Jacobs and Rosika Schwimmer made personal appeal for peace to Dutch Prime Minister van der Linden. 

  • 1942 Frantiŝka Plamínková executed by firing squad, Prague.

  • 1972 Eileen Egan organized first meeting of U.S. Pax Christi at Mt. Paul, Oakridge, NJ.

  • 1987 Elizabeth Ratcliff's Peace Garden Act signed.

  • 1992 Ellie Smeal, NOW president Pat Ireland, WILPF legal director Aida Bound, and three other national women leaders arrested for illegal speech at White House at kick-off of civil disobedience campaign against Supreme Court decision in Casey case.

  • 2005 Anti-war "Breasts Not Bombs" topless protest, Union Square, San Francisco.

  • 2006 "Counting Lives Lost" antiwar installation by Kathleen Crocetti, Watsonville, CA.

  • 2009 Cynthia McKinney and Mairead Corrigan arrested by Israeli navy on Spirit of Humanity for attempt to aid Gaza.

  • 2011 15 women arrested in Shut It Down protest at Vermont Yankee nuclear plant, including three 90-year-olds.

  • 2015 Candid Voices on Women, Peace & Security sponsored by Women Peacemakers, The Hague.