March 30

Women peacemakers born today

  • 1858 Hypatia Bradlaugh Bonner born London, England (d. 1943). Peace activist, prominent atheist; founded Rationalist Peace Society 1910; opposed imperialism, Boer War, death penalty.

  • 1863 Mary Whiton Calkins born Hartford, CT (d. 1930). Pacifist; professor of psychology and philosophy; first female president of the American Psychological Association. Member of Fellowship of Reconciliation; member of WILPF. Defended Sacco and Vanzetti in print; advocated pacifism in World War I; believed in the ethical duty of loyalty to the universal community.

  • 1874 Clara Ragaz (née Nadig) born Chur, Switzerland (d. 1957). Swiss peace leader; women’s rights advocate. Founding member WILPF, 1915; WILPF Swiss Vice-President, 1929-46.

  • 1880 Anna Rochester born New York, NY (d. 1966). Marxist historian; labor reformer. Editor of pacifist magazine World Tomorrow, 1922-26; early leader of Christian Socialist Fellowship of Reconciliation. Founded women’s commune with partner Grace Hutchins, 1920.

  • 1930 Joanne Grant born Utica, NY (d. 2005). Civil rights historian; filmmaker; journalist. Worked with W.E.B. DuBois at NAACP, 1959; co-founded SNCC, 1960. One of the first visitors to Communist China, 1957; also made friendship visits to USSR and Cuba.

  • 1950 Catherine Bertini born Syracuse, NY. First woman to lead a UN agency as head of World Food Program, 1992-2002; noted for response to famines in North Korea and the Horn of Africa. Undersecretary of UN Office for Management, 2002.

  • 1956 Carolyn Gomes born Kingston, Jamaica. Pediatrician; founded Jamaicans for Justice to fight extra-judicial killings, 1999. Awarded UN Human Rights Prize, 2008.

  • 1978 Chouchou Namegabe born Bukavu, Democratic Republic of the Congo. Radio journalist. Co-founded South Kivu Women's Media Association AFEM to eradicate sexual violence as weapon of war, 2003; AFEM president, 2005-present.

Women's peacemaking on this day

  • 1959 20,000 marched to Trafalgar Square on the final day of the CND's Aldermaston March.

  • 2007 Code Pink held a sit-in at Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office to protest the Iraq War.

  • 2011 In Bahrain, Ayat al-Gormezi was arrested and tortured for reading a poem critical of the government.

  • 2012 Syrian actress Fadwa Suleiman expressed disappointment at the resistance movement arming themselves.