March 24

Women peacemakers born today

  • 1855 Olive Schreiner born Wittebergen, South Africa (d. 1920). Writer; environmentalist; close friend of Gandhi and nonviolence advocate. Opposed the rule of Cecil Rhodes. Foresaw and opposed the Boer War and World War I.

  • 1890 Agnes Macphail born Ontario, Canada (d. 1954). Pacifist politician; journalist. First female member of Canadian Parliament, 1921-40; first female member of League of Nations Disarmament Committee, 1929. Opposed World War I conscription.

  • 1912 Dorothy Height born Richmond, VA (d. 2010). African-American civil rights leader. President of National Council of Negro Women, 1957-98. Lectured and taught in Asia and Africa.

  • 1913 Dorothy Marie Hennessey born Manchester, IA (d. 2008). Franciscan nun; peace activist. Arrested at Nevada Test Site protesting nuclear weapons; banned from Omaha Strategic Air Command base. Walked across US to protest the Cold War; marched for civil rights; helped Cesar Chavez organize for migrant workers. Alongside sister Gwen, jailed 6 months for School of Americas protest, 2001.

  • 1942 Betty Burkes born Malvern, OH. Teacher of peace and nonviolence. Peace Corps volunteer teacher in Ethiopia; Chair of American WILPF, 1997-99; Peace Education Program Coordinator at Hague Appeal for Peace, 2002-05.

  • 1981 Vicki M. R. Monague born Midland, Ontario. Canadian Beausoleil First Nation environmental activist. Spearheaded effort to prevent building of proposed landfill over Alliston aquifer, 2009. Protested nuclear shipment on Great Lakes, 2011. Led 17-day, 822-kilometer Water Walk around Georgian Bay, 2013. Opposed nuclear dump, Lake Huron, 2015.

Women's peacemaking on this day

  • 1970 In Washington DC, Jane Addams House, the national headquarters of WILPF, was burned down in suspected arson at height of domestic tensions around the Vietnam War.

  • 2004 In Cairo, Swanee Hunt delivered the first Peace Matters lecture, sponsored by first lady Susanne Mubarak.

  • 2015 Melanne Verveer delivered keynote speech at Georgetown University International Women’s Day Symposium. “If we just look at a woman ...solely in [terms of victimization], we miss the agency, the voice, the capability, the leadership—and yes the power—that she has. ...We are missing a huge part of the picture.”