May 1

Women peacemakers born today

  • 1830 Mary Harris Jones AKA Mother Jones born Cork, Ireland (d. 1930). "The Miner’s Angel." American labor organizer; socialist. Led women’s strike, 1900.

  • 1899 Alice Franklin Bryant born Fredericktown, MO (d. 1977). Lifelong peace activist and human rights advocate. Campaigned against Senator Scoop Jackson’s militarist policies with slogan "Military strength will not win world peace," 1958, 1964.

  • 1936 Loretta Filipov. Wife of 9/11 victim. Founding member of September 11 Families for Peaceful Tomorrows, 2002.

  • 1939 Judy Collins born Seattle, WA. Folk singer and songwriter; lifelong peace activist. Arrested for Vietnam War protest, 1973; arrested for Apartheid protest, Washington DC, 1985. UNICEF representative in Bosnia, 1995.

  • 1946 Joanna Lumley born Srinagar, Kashmir. British actress. Active in international causes of UNICEF, Amnesty International, ActionAid, animal rights; Buddhist.

  • 1950 Swanee Hunt born Dallas, TX. US Ambassador to Vienna, 1993; founding director of Kennedy School of Women and Public Policy, 1997. Founded Women Waging Peace, 1999. Women's Hall of Fame honoree, 2007.

Women's peacemaking on this day

  • 1869 Jenny d’Hèricourt proposed Universal Woman's League for Woman's Rights and Universal Peace, Chicago.

  • 1915 Close of First International Congress of Women, The Hague. Adopted Rosika Schwimmer's proposal to send women envoys to warring leaders.

  • 1916 Nella Giacomelli arrested for manifesto to Italian women against war.

  • 1933 Catholic Worker first sold by Dorothy Day, promoting peace and social justice.

  • 1944 German resistance leader Sophie Scholl joined the White Rose resistance.

  • 1985 In San Diego, Linda Smith founded Mothers Embracing Nuclear Disarmament (MEND).

  • 1991 Italian and Serbian women held The Peace Caravan in Kosovo.

May 2

Women peacemakers born today

  • 1897 Willemien Posthumus-Van Der Goot born Pretoria, South Africa (d. 1989). Dutch pacifist and feminist leader. Active in the Association for Universal Peace (RUP), 1936; chaired Dutch section of UN International Cooperation Year, 1965.

  • 1929 Joanna Rogers Macy born Los Angeles, CA. Anti-nuclear activist; Buddhist scholar; expert on Gandhian development program. Peace Corps volunteer in India, Tunisia, and Nigeria, 1964-66.

  • 1936 Perdita Huston born Portland, ME (d. 2001). Human rights advocate for Third World Women; author and journalist. Regional Peace Corps director for Africa-Asia, 1977; Peace Corps Director, Mali, 1997-99, and Bulgaria, 1999-2000.

  • 1945 Bianca Jagger born Managua, Nicaragua. Human rights activist. Council of Europe Goodwill Ambassador. Received Right Livelihood Award, 2004; World Citizenship Award from The Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, 2005; Office of the Americas Peace and Justice Award, 2006.

Women's peacemaking on this day

  • 1936 First issue of Mujeres Libres, anarchist paper of Madrid and Barcelona.

  • 1957 Edita Morris founded Hiroshima House of Rest for bomb victims.

  • 1982 Earth Ambulance protest at 12 US nuclear sites left Berkeley, organized by artists Helene Aylon and Kay Sellin.

  • 2000 In Arta, Djibouti, 97 Somali women protested at the Somalia National Peace Conference to establish the Transitional National Government.

  • 2014 Women, Peace and Security National Action Plans: Challenges and Opportunities for Canadian Civil Society at Carleton University, Ottawa.

May 3

Women peacemakers born today

  • 1879 Alice Masaryk born Vienna, Austria (d. 1966). Czech humanitarian, sociologist; founded first national social work school 1928; “First Lady of Czechosovakia” 1922-35; nurse in WWI, of which she disapproved; imprisoned Vienna 9 months for treason, as daughter of Thomas Masaryk (first Czech President); first President Czech Red Cross 1919; exiled 1939-45, 1949.

  • 1898 Septima P. Clark born Charleston, SC (d. 1981). "Grandmother of American civil rights movement." Nonviolent teacher at Highlander Folk School, 1954; colleague of Martin Luther King, Jr. in SCLC; pioneered Citizenship Schools.

  • 1929 Jahanara Imam born Sundapur, Murshidabad, West Bengal, British India (d. 1994). “Mother of Martyrs.” Led movement for trial of criminals of Bangladeshi War of Liberation 1971; author and teacher.

  • 1932 Edith Bruck born Tiszakarád, Hungary. Italian writer, poet, and cinematographer; holocaust survivor. Member of Ara Pacis Initiative Council for Dignity, Forgiveness, Justice & Reconciliation.

  • 1961 Leyla Zana born Silvan, Diyarbakır. Turkish Kurd politician; first Kurdish woman elected to national parliament, 1991. Sentenced to 15-year prison term for wearing Kurdish colors, 1994.

Women's peacemaking on this day

  • 1951 In Arkansas, 16-year-old Barbara Johns protested segregation, supported by Moton High School students' parents' endorsement, leading to Brown v. Board of Education decision.

  • 1980 300 women of WONT (Women Opposed to Nuclear Technology) held protest, Hartford, CT.

  • 2005 Lana Jacobs and husband arrested for digging graves on Missouri University campus to protest Iraq War.

  • 2010 Carol Huston arrested Grand Central Terminal for dropping banner “TALK LESS; DISARM MORE.”

  • 2014 Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson hosted 14th annual A World of Women for World Peace Conference, Dallas, TX.

May 4

Women peacemakers born today

  • 1884 Margaret Ann Backhouse born Darlington, Durham, England (d. 1977). Quaker head of Friends Service Council who received Nobel Peace Prize for Quaker relief, 1947; founded British Campfire Girls, 1921; teacher Westhill College, Birmingham.

  • 1925 Ruth First born Johannesburg, South Africa (d. 1982). Journalist, author, and editor. Communist; anti-Apartheid leader; assassinated by bomb sent by South African security forces. Arrested for treason, 1956; interned 117 days; exiled, 1963.

  • 1929 Audrey Hepburn born Brussels, Belgium (d. 1993). Film actress; grew up under German occupation of Netherlands. UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador with missions to Ethiopia, Somalia, Vietnam, Bangladesh, South America, 1988-93.

  • 1938 Birgit Brock-Utne born Oslo, Norway. Scholar of peace; world authority on women and peace.

  • 1952 Vera Lengsfeld born Sondershausen, Thuringia, Germany. Civil rights activist; politician. As peacemaker, co-founded Pankow Peace Circle, a nonviolent resistance organization opposed to the East German regime, 1981. Member of Reichstag, 1990-2005. Awarded Aachen Peace Prize, 1990.

  • 1857 Caroline Playne born Avening, Gloucestershire, England (d. 1948). Historian of war and peace. Anticipating WWI, co-founded National Peace Council, 1904. Attended International Peace Council, London, 1908. Banned from Hague Women's Peace Congress, 1915.

Women's peacemaking on this day

  • 387 Death of St. Monica, nonviolent saint of Hippo, Algeria, Berber mother of Augustine.

  • 1970 Allison Krause and Sandra Scheuer killed at Kent State University by soldiers of National Guard opposing Vietnam War protest by students, 12:22 pm.

  • 2009 In Washington DC, six members of Code Pink protested at American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) Conference. “Want Peace? End the Occupation.”

  • 2013 In Columbus, Ohio, the Women’s Federation for World Peace (WFWP) held a Bridge of Peace meeting with Women's Auxiliary of Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. “Love for all, hatred for none.”

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.

May 6

Women peacemakers born today

  • 1920 Noreen Hewett (née Emerson) born Australia (d. 2012). Australian journalist, communist, and women’s leader. Co-founded Save Our Sons (SOS), opposing draft for Vietnam War. First woman journalist to visit People’s Republic of China, 1959.

  • 1922 Gloria Richardson (née Hayes) born Baltimore, MD. Militant nonviolent civil rights leader and piano teacher. Founded Cambridge Movement, demanding immediate desegregation. Negotiated Cambridge Treaty to end segregation and riots, 1963.

  • 1944 Sharon Capeling-Alakija born Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, Canada (d. 2003). Director of United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM), 1989-94; Director of UN Volunteers, 1998.

  • 1955 Holly Sklar born New York, NY. Journalist and author. Opposed US militarism, 1988 war on Nicaragua, Iraq War.

  • 1954 Dora Bakoyannis born Athens. Greek Minister of Foreign Affairs, 2006; Mayor of Athens, 2002-06; Minister of Culture, 1992-93; chaired UN Security Council ceasefire, Lebanon, 2006. Promoted European Union Lisbon Treaty, 2007.

  • 1955 Vesna Pešić born Grocka, Serbia, Yugoslavia. Serbian human rights activist and antiwar leader. Founded Yugoslav Helsinki Committee, 1985; Yugoslav European Movement, 1991; Centre for Antiwar Action (CAWA), promoting nonviolence and negotiation, 1991. Received Sakharov Award, 1997.

Women's peacemaking on this day

  • 1916 Executive Committee of WILPF met in Zürich to plan women's peace conference.

  • 1984 Lebanese Women protested war, led by woman named Iman Khalifeh.

  • 1987 Six "Pele" (goddess of unconditional love) entered Nevada Test Site.

  • 1996 Ursuline Sister Dianna Ortiz ended two-week fast and vigil at the White House after presidential promise to investigate her torture in Guatemala.

  • 2015 In Skopje, Macedonia, women formed a human shield around police to protect them from provocateurs throwing glass bottles. “I didn't stand up because I like the policemen. I stood up because the hooligans will create a problem and then run away, and the innocent protesters will suffer the consequences.”

May 7

Women peacemakers born today

  • 1748 Olympe de Gouges born Montauban, Tarn, France (d. 1793). "Angel of Peace." Revolutionary feminist author and pamphleteer; human rights advocate. Wrote Declaration of the Rights of Women, 1791.

  • 1842 Gualberta Alaide Beccari born Padua, Italy (d. 1906). Journalist, suffragist, pacifist, and feminist. Founded first Italian women's rights journal La Donna, 1868-91; pioneered advocacy of women and peace, 1870.

  • 1907 Minerva Bernardino born Seibo, Dominican Republic (d. 1998). One of four women to sign UN Charter, 1945.

Women's peacemaking on this day

  • 1915 Premiere of Beulah Dix’s antiwar play “Moloch”, Chicago.

  • 1915 Jane AddamsRosa GenoniAletta JacobsChrystal Macmillan, and Rosika Schwimmer began a tour of European capitals, meeting with heads of state and seeking a peaceful resolution to World War I. In The Hague, they made an appeal for peace to Dutch Prime Minister Cort van der Linden.

  • 1963 Mothers Lobby for a Test Ban, Washington, DC by WILPF and Women Strike for Peace.

  • 1987 Six Pele Women (Women Aloud) arrested at Nevada test site.

  • 1997 Presiding Justice Gabrielle MacDonald opened first International War Crimes Tribunal, the Hague.

  • 2008 Algerian women launched radio station against violence and extremism.

  • 2015 Women’s Court: A Feminist Approach to Justice conference, Sarajevo.

May 8

Women peacemakers born today

  • 1953 Isabelle Alonso born Auxerre, France. French militant feminist; co-founder and president of Female Watchdogs against violence toward women, especially public insults.

Women's peacemaking on this day

  • 1943 Bernice Fisher and James Farmer of CORE led a non-violent sit-in protest of segregated Jack Spratt Coffee Shop, Chicago.

  • 2006 Women Peace and Security Network - Africa (WIPSEN-Africa) established.

  • 2009 In Ontario, Vicki Monague led First Nation tribal members in a protest of proposed landfill Site 41 to protect local groundwater.
  • 2014 Led by Pastor Esther Ibanga, 300 women of several religions marched 4 kilometers through the streets of Jos, Nigeria, carrying roses to protest Boko Haram's abduction of girls.

  • 2015 In Seneca Lake, NY, 16 women arrested in Mother’s Day protest against Crestwood fracking operation.

May 9

Women peacemakers born today

  • 1879 Helen Clarkson Miller Davis (d. 1968). Internationalist headmistress of Spence School; Middle East expert, esp. constitutions and religious freedom; chaired National Education Committee of League of Nations Association, 1922-41.

  • 1921 Sophie Scholl born Forchtenberg, Bavaria (executed 1943). Leader of White Rose nonviolent resistance to Hitler.

  • 1950 Jorie Graham born Brooklyn, NY. Pulitzer Prize-winning poet. Harvard professor. Portrayed the Iraq War invasion in light of Normandy in anti-war poetry collection Overlord, 2005.

  • 1973 Tegla Loroupe born Kutomwony, Lelan, West Pokot District, Kenya. Kenyan athlete, world marathon champion, won NY Marathon 1994; founded Tegla Laroupe Peace Foundation 2003, bringing peace to warring tribes Turkana and Pokot; founded 10-km Peace Race for 2000 warriors 2006; Oxfam world tour appeal for Darfur 2007.

Women's peacemaking on this day

  • 1837 Mary Parker led the first Anti-Slavery Convention of Women, New York City.

  • 1971 Nguyen Thi Co immolated herself in protest against Vietnam War.

  • 2000 Helen John arrested for blocking US spy base Menwith Hill, Yorkshire. Sent to jail for 17 days.

  • 2007 During a sit-in at Marrakesh University, Sultana Khaya lost an eye after being severely beaten by the police.

  • 2010 On this Mother’s Day, Andrea Cristina Mercado founded We Belong Together: Women for Common Sense Immigration Policies.

  • 2015 Mothers for Justice United held Million Moms March on Capitol Hill to protest police violence against young black men.

May 10

Women peacemakers born today

  • 1939 Jean Houston born Brooklyn, NY. Humanistic psychologist; trainer for UN Development Program Bangladesh. Published Manual for the Peacemaker, 1997.

Women's peacemaking on this day

  • 1866 First national Women's Suffrage association formed, American Equal Rights Association, with Lucretia Mott as president.

  • 1899 First international women’s peace rally organized by Margarethe Selenka, Munich.

  • 1967 In Stockholm, Simone de Beauvoir, as a member of the International War Crimes Tribunal, condemned US actions in Vietnam as genocide and torture.

  • 1992 Wendy Bobbitt and two children age 9 and 5 crossed line at Strategic Air Command Offutt base, Omaha, to be arrested; she spent 90 days in jail.

  • 2007 Iraqi women launched peace movement, Balad al-Salam Bas lil Unf (“Abode of Peace. . . No More Violence”) to promote peace and put an end to violence and random killings.

  • 2013 Guatemalan Attorney General Paz y Paz successfully prosecuted General Rios Montt for genocide.

  • 2015 Women’s Resistance to Extremism and Terrorism & their Struggle for Rights, Peace & Security forum held in Erbil, Iraq.

May 11

Women peacemakers born today

  • 1894 Martha Graham born Pittsburgh, PA (d. 1991). "Mother of Modern Dance." Produced the three-part anti-war piece "Chronicle," 1936.

  • 1905 Marjorie Sykes born Mexborough, Yorkshire, England (d. 1995). Quaker; Gandhian peacemaker. Teacher at Tagore's Peace University, 1939-41; Sevagram Ashram, 1949-59. Trainer of nonviolent Peace Army 1959-64. Undertook Nagaland Peace Mission, 1964-67.

Women's peacemaking on this day

  • 1837 Sarah Grimké's resolution on peace education at Women’s Anti-Slavery Convention, New York City. "We recommend to mothers to educate their children in the principles of peace, and special abhorrence of that warfare, which gives aid to the oppressor against the oppressed."

  • 1915 First British meeting of WILPF, chaired by Catherine Marshall, Central Hall, London.

  • 1999 Hague Appeal for Peace, chaired by Cora Weiss"To reach peace we must teach peace."

  • 2014 In Plymouth, Massachusetts, a Mother's Day protest to close the Pilgrim nuclear plant resulted in the arrest of Diane Turco, Sarah Thacher, Susan Carpenter, and Barbara Conathan.

May 12

Women peacemakers born today

  • 1820 Florence Nightingale born Florence, Tuscany (d. 1910). Organized first wartime nursing in Crimean War, 1854.

  • 1872 Eleanor Florence Rathbone born South Kensington, London (d. 1946). Suffragist; feminist. Independent Member of British Parliament, 1929-46. Published War Can Be Averted, 1938.

  • 1924 Claribel Alegría (née Clara Isabel Alegría Vides) born Estelí, Nicaragua. Salvadoran-Nicaraguan poet and novelist. Lifelong nonviolence advocate. Nobel Literature Laureate, 2006.

  • 1948 Akmaral Arystanbekova born Kazakhstan. Chemist and diplomat. First Foreign Minister of Kazakhstan, 1989-91. Initiated destruction of world’s fourth-largest cache of nuclear weapons; closed Semipalatinsk nuclear test site, 1991.

  • 1957 Ertharin Cousin born Chicago, IL. “The Woman Who Feeds the World”; Director World Food Program 2012; lawyer and food executive; Nominee for UN Secretary General 2016.

Women's peacemaking on this day

  • 1919 Women's International League for Peace and Freedom founding conference met in Zurich.

  • 1938 Forty-eight militant feminists chained themselves at Bastille protesting “the slavery of women.”

  • 1957 2,000 women marched in London from Hyde Park to Trafalgar Square in the rain, protesting H-bomb tests in the first major anti-nuclear protest, organized by Ianthe Carswell.

  • 1976 INSTRAW, UN International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women established by UN Economic and Social Council Resolution LX.

  • 2003 British Minister of Development Clare Short quit British Cabinet over Iraq War betrayal of UN.

  • 2014 General Kristin Lund named first woman leader of UN Peacekeeping force.

May 13

Women peacemakers born today

  • 1894 Emma Gelders Sterne born Birmingham, AL (d. 1971). Children's history writer; Communist Party member; early opponent of Vietnam War. Member of civil rights organization Congress of Racial Equality (CORE); jailed 10 days for anti-draft protest, Oakland, CA, 1967.

  • 1925 Carolyn Robertson Payton born Norfolk, VA (d. 2001). Psychologist; first woman and first African-American to head US Peace Corps, 1977-78; resigned in protest.

  • 1947 Rafiah Salim born Kuala Krai, Kelantan, Malaysia. Lawyer; UN Assistant Secretary for Human Resources, 1998-2003; first woman university president, 2006.

  • 1951 Lindsey German born Ewell, Surrey, London. British peace leader; socialist. Ran twice for mayor of London, 2004, 2008. Co-founded and served as convenor of Stop the War Coalition, 2001; sponsored the largest British public demonstration in history under the slogan "No war on Iraq—Freedom for Palestine," 2003.

  • 1954 Evelin Lindner born Hameln, Lower Saxony, Germany. Norwegian psychologist and peace advocate; MD, PhD. Leader in humiliation studies; founded Better Global Understanding, 1993.

Women's peacemaking on this day

  • Feast Day of Julian of Norwich.

  • 1915 First public meeting of British WILPF, chaired by Helena Swanwick.

  • 1938 International Conference of Women for Peace, Marseilles.

  • 1991 Niger women occupied Foreign Ministry Niamey in protest for representation in National Conference.

  • 1991 Women’s International Conference for Israeli-Palestinian Peace, Geneva; through 15th.

  • 1998 Ann Hercus of New Zealand appointed UN representative for Cyprus.

  • 2006 Mothers Day protest against Iraq War at White House by Code Pink.

  • 2007 In Karachi, Sabeen Mahmud opened T2F café, a project of PeaceNiche.

  • 2015 Over 500 members of Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA) peacefully protested President Mugabe's words against the Kalanga people.

May 14

Women peacemakers born today

  • 1919 Solange Chaput-Rolland born Montréal, Quebec, Canada (d. 2001). Writer, politician, and peace activist. Leader of Voice of Women for Peace (VOW). Member of Quebec National Assembly, 1979-81; Canadian Senator, 1988-94.

  • 1950 Jill Stein born Chicago, IL. Physician and politician. As Green Party presidential candidate, won 469,501 votes, the most successful female candidate in history, 2012; ran strong antiwar campaign.

  • 1955 Amke Dietert-Scheuer born Brake, Lower Saxony, Germany. Development consultant. Green Party member of German Bundestag, 1994-99, 2002.

  • 1955 Ulrike Hofken born Düsseldorf, Germany. Farmer and agricultural expert interested in biodiversity and sustainability. Green Party representative, 1994.

  • 1960 Simonetta Sommaruga born Zug, Switzerland. Pianist. Socialist member of Swiss Parliament, 1999; president of private development organization Swissaid, 2003.

  • 1963 Gloria Richardson and her mother were arrested for sit-in at Dizziland restaurant.

Women's peacemaking on this day

  • 1940 Quaker Bertha Bracey loaded last Children’s Transport of Jewish children aboard freighter Bodegraven at Ymuiden, Holland, the day before Dutch surrender.

  • 1946 Victoria Demarest founded World Association of Mothers for Peace, Spokane, WA.

  • 1982 Greenham women ordered out of base by Newbury Court.

  • 1986 In Lima, Peru, Guadalupe Coallacunto Olano was arrested for protest against disappearances.

  • 2000 Million Moms protest Washington DC for gun control on Mother’s Day, organized by Donna Dees-Thomases.

  • 2002 Thirty-four Indian women met Bangladeshi women at Women’s Initiative for Peace in South Asia-sponsored “Journey of Peace: Kolkata to Dhaka”.

May 15

Women peacemakers born today

  • 1871 Naima Sahlbom born Stockholm, Sweden (d. 1957). Swedish geologist and international scientific expert on warfare. WILPF founding member and chair of its science committee.

  • 1890 Katherine Anne Porter born Indian Creek, TX (d. 1980). Lifelong pacifist and writer. Awarded Pulitzer Prize, 1966.

  • 1893 Fusae Ichikawa born Aichi, Japan (d. 1981). Pioneering Japanese suffragist. Founded first Japanese women's suffrage organization, 1924. Member of postwar Diet for 25 years.

  • 1938 Diane Nash born Chicago, IL. Founded Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, 1960.

  • 1954 Mu Sochua born Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Human rights activist. Founded Cambodia's first women’s organization Khemara, 1991. As Minister of Women’s Affairs, helped pass Prevention of Domestic Violence law, and negotiated agreements with neighboring lands to stop traffic in women, 1998-2004.

  • 1956 Susannah Heschel born New York. Professor of Jewish studies; antiwar activist: led rally against second year Iraq War New York 2005; feminist.

Women's peacemaking on this day

  • 1838 Anti-Slavery Convention of Women at Pennsylvania Hall, Philadelphia, headed by Mary Parker.

  • 1882 First Mother's Day, against war, led by Julia Ward Howe.

  • 1899 First international women's peace meeting, The Hague.

  • 1919 Barbara Gould and Eglantyne Jebb were arrested in Trafalgar Square for protesting deaths of German children caused by the Allied naval blockade.

  • 1930 Sarojini Naidu led nonviolent raid with wirecutters at Dharasana.

  • 1962 Seventy women arrested at Madrid's Central Plaza in show of solidarity with striking miners.
  • 1991 Women’s Geneva Conference for Israeli-Palestinian Peace issued their final declaration. “We, Palestinian, Israeli, and International women, declare our commitment to a peaceful resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict on the basis of UN Security Resolutions 242 and 338.”

May 16

Women peacemakers born today

  • 1882 Elin Wagner born Lund, Sweden (d. 1949). Swedish journalist and novelist; feminist; pacifist; radical environmentalist. Covered Hague Women's Conference, 1915; led Women's Unarmed Uprising Against War, 1935. Authored plan for world parliament, 1935. Published The Alarm Clock, 1941.

  • 1882 Anne O'Hare McCormick born Wakefield, Yorkshire, England (d. 1952). First American delegate to UNESCO, 1946-48. First woman awarded Pulitzer Prize, for foreign news, 1937.

  • 1887 Maria Lacerda de Moura born Monte Alverne farm, Manhuaçu, Brazil (d. 1945). Brazilian anarcha-feminist; teacher and journalist. Founded Women’s Anti-war Committee, São Paulo, 1923.

  • 1919 Molly Klopot (née Eisenstat) born Detroit, MI. Co-founder Raging Grannies; arrested in Times Square protest 2005; chair New York WILPF 1998; co-founder Not in Our Name: We Pledge to Resist (NION) against Iraq War 2001; Clara Lemlich awardee 2013.

  • 1924 Marion Adams Macpherson born Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, Canada. Canadian ambassador to UN, Sri Lanka, Zambia, Denmark; first career woman diplomat, 1947.

  • 1925 Doris Gunn born Nashville, TN (d. 2003). Native American protester against nuclear weapon manufacture in Oklahoma; agitated for desegregation of Oklahoma schools and for Native American rights.

  • 1929 Adrienne Rich born Baltimore, MD. Anti-war poet. Published essays against racism, growing inequality and imprisonment.

  • 1954 Annette Groth born Gadderbaum, Bielefeld, Westphalia, Germany. Sociologist; member of German Reichstag, 2009, chaired Human Rights Committee; took part in Gaza Freedom flotilla in which 9 protesters were killed, 2010.

  • 1958 Kristin Lund born Norway. First woman commander of UN peacekeeping force, Cyprus, 2014; previous served in UN peacekeeping forces in Lebanon and Bosnia.

  • 1983 Nancy Ajram born Beirut, Lebanon. Popular Middle Eastern singer. UNICEF Ambassador of Peace, 2009. Her song “A Message to the World” called for peace and love as the answer to war, 2005.

Women's peacemaking on this day

  • 1838 Lucretia Mott calmed Philadelphia mob opposing Anti-Slavery Convention.

  • 1930 Sarojini Naidu pushed back by British police at nonviolent protest of Salt March.

  • 1967 Nhat Chi Mai immolated herself, leaving poem: "I wish to use my body as a torch/to dissipate the darkness/To waken Love among men/And to bring Peace to Vietnam."

  • 2006 Congresswomen Eleanor Holmes Norton and Barbara Lee arrested for Darfur protest at Sudan embassy.

May 17

Women peacemakers born today

  • 1941 Csilla von Boeselager born Budapest, Hungary (d. 1994). "Angel of Budapest" Rescued thousands of East German refugees before fall of Iron Curtain; founded Hungarian Maltese Caritas, 1988. Awarded European Human Rights Prize, 1992; Liborius Peace Medal, 1992.

  • 1959 Michaela Sburny born Vienna, Austria. Leader of Austrian Green Party supporting nonviolence, direct democracy, feminism, and human rights.

Women's peacemaking on this day

  • 1838 Lucretia Mott and other women linked arms with black women, as mob burned Pennsylvania Hall, Philadelphia.

  • 1919 In Zurich, the WILPF conference came to a close, prophesying, “the terms of peace can only lead to future wars.”

  • 1930 Sarojini Naidu led third invasion of Dharasana saltworks.

  • 1930 First Women's Yearly Peace March, Rotterdam.

  • 1960 Lotta Dempsey’s column in the Toronto Daily Star sparked major women’s revolt against nuclear threat and the founding of Voice of Women (VOW).

  • 1993 Nurse Terri Swearingen arrested at White House for chaining herself to a concrete block in protest against Ohio waste incinerator; government changed rules the next day.

  • 2014 74-year-old grandmother Bonnie Block arrested during open house at Volk Field for leafleting against drones; jailed five days. “We can’t kill our way to peace and security.”

May 18

Women peacemakers born today

  • 1836 Isabella Tod born Edinburgh, Scotland (d. 1896). Northern Irish feminist and internationalist who opposed imperialism and use of force.

  • 1874 Madeleine Pelletier born Paris, France (d. 1939). French internationalist and pacifist; anarcho-socialist, radical feminist; physician and pioneering psychiatrist. Founded magazine La Suffragiste, 1907. Died in asylum where she was sentenced for giving abortions to poor women.

  • 1936 Mae Francis Moultrie Howard born Dillon, SC (d. 2010). Educator; ordained minister. Civil rights activist. Freedom Rider.

  • 1937 Roberta Buchanan born Uitenhage, Eastern Cape, South Africa. Canadian poet and professor of English and Women’s Studies.

Women's peacemaking on this day

  • 1901 Margarethe Lenore Selenka organized first annual peace propaganda celebrations of Hague Peace Conference.

  • 1904 In Paris, the first international treaty for protection of women (“International Agreement for the Suppression of the White Slave Traffic") was signed by 13 nations.

  • 1906 Establishment of Women’s Section of Portuguese League for Peace, Lisbon.
  • 1931 WILPF celebrated National Goodwill Day with an appeal for disarmament.

  • 1948 Tax resisters Ernest and Marion Bromley married.

  • 1972 Maggie Kuhn founded Gray Panthers, opposing the Vietnam War.

  • 1979 Karen Silkwood won lawsuit against Kerr-McGee for radiation poisoning.

  • 1982 Seven women began fast for Equal Rights Amendment, Springfield, IL.

May 19

Women peacemakers born today

  • 1891 Marie Luise Pleissner born Chemnitz, Saxony, Germany (d. 1983). German Quaker war-resister; opposed WWI, joining “Never War Again”; early member International FOR; founded chapter of World Peace League of Mothers and Educators 1932; survived 8 months in Ravensbrück prison; postwar member of Saxony legislature; active in peace movement.

  • 1921 Yuri Kochiyama born San Pedro, CA. Interned in US concentration camp; lobbied for reparations. Nobel Peace Prize nominee, 2005.

  • 1926 Gloria Emerson born New York, NY (d. 2004). New York Times war correspondent, reporting from Vietnam, Nigeria, Northern Ireland, and Gaza.

  • 1930 Lorraine Hansberry born Chicago, IL (d. 1965). African-American playwright. Wrote pioneering play about the black experience for Broadway, A Raisin in the Sun, 1959; supported Women Strike for Peace opposition to House Un-American Activities Committee investigation, 1962.

Women's peacemaking on this day

  • 1919 Eglantyne Jebb founded Save the Children, London.

  • 1955 Nonviolent women's organization Black Sash founded, Johannesburg.

  • 1982 Barbara Wiedner founded Grandmothers for Peace, Sacramento, CA.

  • 2008 UN Peacebuilding Commission issued summary on Sierra Leone Peacebuilding Cooperation Framework.

  • 2015 In Burrillville, RI, Sherrie Anne Andre made 60-foot-high tree sit protest against natural gas pipeline expansion.

May 20

Women peacemakers born today

  • 1825 Antoinette Brown Blackwell born Henrietta, NY (d. 1921). Feminist; abolitionist; suffrage orator; author of books on science and philosophy. First woman Congregational Minister; mobbed at World's Temperance Convention, 1843.

  • 1947 Mary Day Kent born Easton, MD. Quaker; international education expert. WILPF Executive Director, 1999- 2007; led campaigns against Iraq War, nuclear weapons, and foreign military bases.

  • 1959 Barbara Lochbihler born Obergünzburg, Bavaria, Germany. Peace activist. WILPF Secretary General, 1992; head of Amnesty International Germany, 1999-2009. Member of European Parliament, representing Green Party, 2009-present.

  • 1959 Hélène Ryckmans born Thysville, Democratic Republic of Congo. Active peacemaker in Congo and development sociologist. Belgian President of World According to Women, 1996-2014. Chaired conference on Women, War & Peace, 2004. Green member of Senate, 2014. Nominated Woman of Peace, 2011.

Women's peacemaking on this day

  • 1960 Eroseanna Robinson released from Alderson Federal Penitentiary after 93-day fast for tax refusal.

  • 1985 Women's Peace Celebration St. John's NB where Roberta Buchanan's peace poem "I Moved All My Women Upstairs" was performed.

  • 1999 Declaration of Women's Conference on Peace and Nonviolence, Zanzibar. "We, Women of Africa, recognise that people's security is not only a matter of state and military security, but a question of economic livelihood and overall well-being."

  • 2012 21-year-old Israeli student Sahar Vardi rescued 8-year-old Palestinian boy from police beating.

  • 2015 Women peace activists, including Nobel Laureates Leymah Gbowee and Mairead Maguire, landed in Pyongyang, North Korea to cross to South Korea in an appeal for peace.