Women peacemakers born today
1347 Catherine of Siena born Siena, Italy (d. 1380). Peacemaker; patroness of Europe. Patron saint of Italy, canonized 1461. Strove to unify Italian city-states as Florentine envoy, 1376; Papal diplomat, 1378; achieved reconciliation of Pope Urban VI with the Roman Republic, 1380.
1826 Matilda Joslyn Gage born Cicero, NY (d. 1898). Feminist; suffragist leader and historian. Co-author of "Declaration of Rights of the Women of the United States" with Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, presented at Philadelphia Centennial, 1876. Organized International Council of Women, 1888.
1920 Usha Mehta born Saras, Surat, Gujarat, India (d. 2000). Gandhian nonviolent freedom fighter; politics professor and PhD at Bombay University. Founded Secret Congress Radio, an underground radio station, 1942; arrested and sentenced to 4 years prison.
1934 Gloria Steinem born Toledo, OH. Feminist editor and writer; pacifist; nonviolent activist. Bowles Fellowship in India, 1956-57; founding editor of Ms. magazine, 1972. Supported United Farm Workers; opposed Vietnam War with tax resistance, 1965. Active in nuclear freeze efforts; voiced early opposition to Iraq War.
1942 Karla Schefter born Allenstein, E. Prussia. Founded Chak-e-Wardak hospital, Afghanistan, 1989; founded Committee for Promotion of Medical & Humanitarian Aid, 1993. One of 1000 female Nobel Peace Prize nominees, 2005.
Women's peacemaking on this day
- 1638 In Boston, Anne Hutchinson was excommunicated from the Puritan church for the independence of her views.
- 1888 Led by Susan B. Anthony and Frances Willard, the International Conference of Women held its first meeting, becoming an international leader in human rights of women, Washington DC.
- 1909 Start of Women’s Satyagraha in South Africa with establishment of Indian Women’s Association.
- 1915 Eleanor May Moore joined the newly-founded Sisterhood of International Peace as international secretary.
1938 Simone Weil signed French anti-fascist pacifist declaration calling for negotiation with Germany to end the descent to war.
- 1955 The Committee for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) started its activities with a public notice of anti-nuclear campaign.
- 1965 Viola Liuzzo murdered in Selma civil rights campaign.
2000 Nirmala Deshpande led 41 Indian women on the “Bus of Peace to Lahore” to foster peace with Pakistan.