May 30

Women peacemakers born today

  • 1887 Georgiana Sibley (née Farr) born Millbrook, NY (d. 1980). American church woman and leader of ecumenical movement. Served as Church Women United (CWU) official observer at the founding of the UN, 1945. As President of United Council of Church Women, opposed draft, 1945. National president, CWU, 1946-48. Founded Rochester UN Association, 1946. Leader in racial desegregation; urged control of atomic weapons.

  • 1937 Margareta Ingelstam born Edebo, Sweden. Swedish educator, author, editor, and peace activist. Head of Swedish Christian Council, 1995-2002. Peace monitoring, South Africa, 1993-94; Network Forum for Peace Service, 1995-2006; EU program Building Culture of Non Violence; Postwar peacebuilding, Eastern Croatia, 1998 -2003. Ecumenical Accompaniment Program in Palestine and Israel (SEAPPI), 2002-present; Operation 1325, 2003-present.

  • 1943 Patricia Durrant born Jamaica. Jamaican diplomat. Ambassador to Germany, 1987-92; Director-General Jamaican Foreign Ministry, 1992-95. President of UN Security Council, 2001; first UN Ombudsman, 2002-07.

  • 1946 Jo Vallentine born Perth, Australia. Australian Quaker peace activist. Represented Nuclear Disarmament party in Senate, 1985-92. Co-founded Alternatives to Violence Project, 1994.

  • 1952 Ruth Manorama born Chennai, India. Champion of India's lowest social caste, the Dalits. Received Right Livelihood Award, 2006.

  • 1965 Susana Pacara born Chayanta, Potosí, Bolivia. Quechuan radio journalist and nonviolent organizer. Co-founded Radio Lachiwana in Cochabamba; stood up to government oppression in Coca War, 1993. Fought privatization of water system by American Bechtel Corporation, 2000.

  • 1967 Nasrin Sotoudeh born Gilan, Iran. Human rights defender of prisoners including Nobelist Shirin Abadi; arrested 2010 for spreading propaganda and harming state security; held in solitary, sentenced 11 years; 4-week hunger strike 2010; 49-day fast 2012; Sakharov Prize 2012; freed 2013.

Women's peacemaking on this day

  • 1868 On the first widely-celebrated Memorial Day, two women in Columbus, Mississippi placed flowers on the graves of both Confederate and Union victims of the Battle of Shiloh.

  • 1915 In Budapest, Jane Addams made personal appeal for peace to Hungarian Prime Minister von Tisza.

  • 1991 Mariette Moors imprisoned for nuclear protest, Amsterdam.

  • 2013 Six women Nobel Peace Laureates urged G8 leaders to reduce military spending, Belfast.

  • 2013 Religion, Gender & Peace conference, The Hague.