May 31

Women peacemakers born today

  • 1906 Helen Boyden Lamb Lamont born Cambridge, MA (d. 1965). Economist; expert on India at MIT. Early critic of Vietnam War.

  • 1920 Irma Schwager born Vienna, Austria. Pacifist and anti-nuclear protester. Resisted Nazis during occupation of France; exiled, 1938. Visited Vietnam during US bombing, 1971. Nobel Peace Prize nominee, 2005.

  • 1943 Antje Vollmer born Lübbecke, Westphalia, Germany. Lutheran pastor. Served in Bundestag for 22 years. Joined Green Party, 1983; Vice-President Bundestag 1994-2005. Opposed Kosovo as violation of international law; supported conscientious objection law. Awarded Hannah Arendt Prize, 1998.

  • 1948 Svetlana Alexeivich born Stanislau, Ukrainian SR. Belorussian author. War’s Unwomanly Face about World War II, 1988; Zinky Boys portrayed brutality of Afghanistan war, 1992; Voices from Chernobyl, 1997. Received German Book Peace Prize, 2013; Nobel Literature Laureate, 2015.

Women's peacemaking on this day

  • 1531 "Women's Revolt" in woolhouse, Amsterdam.

  • 1678 Lady Godiva festival revived in Coventry, celebrating eleventh century woman's naked horse ride in protest of her husband's tax on his tenants.

  • 1915 In Christiania, Emily Balch and Chrystal Macmillan met with Danish King Christian X, and Cornelia Ramondt-Hirschmann met with Foreign Minister Ihlen to appeal for peaceful intervention.

  • 1966 17-year-old Nyugen Thi Can immolated herself, Hue, Vietnam.

  • 1999 Women’s peace camp at RAF Fairford base in Gloucestershire protested Kosovo bombing; 8 women arrested.

  • 2000 The UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations issued the Windhoek Declaration and the Namibia Plan of Action On Mainstreaming a Gender Perspective in Multidimensional Peacekeeping Operations, leading to UN Security Council Resolution 1325.

  • 2010: Emily Henochowicz lost her left eye when hit by tear gas canister during nonviolent protest, Qalandiya.