June 9

Women peacemakers born today

  • 1843 Bertha von Suttner born Prague (d. 1914). Author of antiwar Lay Down Your Arms, 1889; first woman to win Nobel Peace Prize, 1905. Founded Austrian Peace Society, 1891; leader at first Hague Peace Conference, 1899.

  • 1921 Myrtle Solomon born Kensington, London (d. 1987). Lesbian pacifist. Head of War Resisters International, 1975-86.

  • 1945 Marianne Laxén born Helsinki, Finland. Finnish feminist peacemaker; chair WILPF Finland; active since 1970 in peace movement (Finnish Peace Union); democratic socialist, Vice President Socialist International Women; expert in Swedish ministry of gender equality 2001-10; adviser to Nordic Council.

  • 1948 Gudrun Schyman born Tãby, Uppland, Sweden. Feminist politician; Member of parliament; led Socialist Left Party 1993-2003; founded Feminist Initiative Party 2005; opposed NATO militarization of North.

  • 1954 Elizabeth May born Hartford, CT. Canadian environmental activist lawyer. Founded anti-nuclear Small Party, 1980; sued to prevent government application of Agent Orange, 1982. Founded Sierra Club of Canada, 1989. Leader of Green Party, 2006; first Green Party member of Parliament, 2011.

  • 1957 Mara Marinaki born Thessaloniki, Greece. European Ambassador and Principal Adviser on Gender 2015; Greek diplomat; achieved 50/50 ratio of woman heads of European field missions 2016.

Women's peacemaking on this day

  • 1872 Julia Ward Howe's first celebration of Mothers' Peace Day.

  • 1934 Mrs. Bopabandhu led women in barefoot walk for untouchables with Gandhi, at Wardha.

  • 1947 Eleanor Roosevelt convened first meeting of UN human rights drafting group at Lake Success, NY. "My most important task."

  • 1981 Meg Gage founded the Peace Development Fund.

  • 1985 Declaration of Women's International Peace Conference, Halifax. "We reject a world order based on domination, exploitation, patriarchy, racism and sexism."

  • 1993 Serb police banned Women in Black vigil, Belgrade.

  • 1994 In Belém do Pará, Brazil, the General Assembly of the Organization of American States signed the Inter-American Convention on the Prevention, Punishment and Eradication of Violence Against Women.

  • 2010 Diane Wilson poured oily goo on herself at US Senate hearing on BP oil spill.

  • 2015 Five Raging Grannies arrested for chaining themselves in rocking chairs to block Seattle oil terminal.

  • 2017 Canada launched Feminist International Assistance Policy.