May 5

Women peacemakers born today

  • 1856 Lucia Ames Mead born Boscawen, NH (d. 1936). Pioneering American internationalist; anti-imperialist; pacifist; suffragist. Co-founded Women's Peace Party with Jane Addams, 1915; founding member of WILPF.

  • 1882 Sylvia Pankhurst born Manchester, England (d. 1960). British suffragist; Socialist-Communist. Opposed World War I; led London protest march against conscription, 1916. Founded newspaper Women's Dreadnought.

  • 1886 Margaret Brackenbury Crook born Dymock, Gloucestershire, England (d. 1972). Radical suffragist and feminist; professor of religion at Smith College. First British Unitarian woman minister. Counseled World War I conscientious objectors; served in Quaker relief during war, 1916-17.

  • 1908 Mary Elmes born Cork, Ireland (d. 2002). Irish nurse. Served as nurse for Quaker American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) during Spanish Civil War, 1937-39. Arrested, 1943; jailed six months. Received Righteous Among the Nations Award for saving lives of Jewish children in France during WWII under auspices of AFSC.

  • 1915 Helvi L. Sipilä born Helsinki, Finland. Finnish lawyer. Highest-ranking woman in UN as first woman Assistant Secretary General, 1972-80; organized first International Women's Conference Mexico, 1975; started first development fund for women, 1976.

  • 1918 Margaret Harrison born Dumbarton, Scotland (d. 2015). British peace activist; co-founded Faslane Peace Camp 1981; arrested 14 times for nonviolent protests; began protests 1951 in CND Aldermaston March.

  • 1921 Dorothy R. Steffens born NY (d. 1999) Quaker economist. Executive Director of US WILPF, 1971-77. Headed delegation to Chile to investigate allegations of Pinochet regime's human rights abuses, 1973; led peace mission to Northern Ireland, 1974. Organized Women's Disarmament Conference at UN, 1975.

  • 1970 Naomi Klein born Montreal, Quebec. Canadian journalist, author and activist.

Women's peacemaking on this day

  • 1954 Barbara Reynolds launched yacht "Phoenix" at Hiroshima, for anti-nuclear protest in Pacific.

  • 1991 Greenham Common victory: Last US cruise missile gone.

  • 1992 Serb mothers in Belgrade demanded return of their soldier sons.

  • 2009 Dr. Margaret Flowers arrested for attempt to testify to US Senate on single-payer healthcare.

  • 2012 In Tomari, Hokkaido, the last of 50 Japanese reactors closed, in response to protest by Kaori Izumi.

  • 2017 Hundreds of Caracas women in white protested government repression.