November 12

Women peacemakers born today

  • 1769 Amelia Opie born Norwich, England (d. 1853). Quaker; pacifist; Romantic poet and novelist; abolitionist.

  • 1815 Elizabeth Cady Stanton born Johnstown, NY (d. 1902). Suffragist; abolitionist; co-founder of Seneca Falls Convention, 1848.

  • 1877 Muriel Matters born Bowden, Adelaide, Australia (d. 1969). British militant suffragist; international speaker; actress and Montessori teacher. Distributed pamphlet “Votes for Women” via balloon, 1909. Spoke against WWI with her speech “The False Mysticism of War”, 1915.

  • 1903 Bodil Begtrup born Nyborg, Denmark (d. 1987). Danish diplomat and feminist; delegate to League of Nations, 1938; founder and first chair of UN Commission on Women, 1947; led work on Declaration of Human Rights, 1948; first Danish female ambassador, 1949; led rescue of children from war.

  • 1930 Molly Blackburn born Port Elizabeth, South Africa (d. 1985). Leader of Black Sash, women opposing Apartheid; active in exposing murder and torture of Africans.

  • 1933 Diane Watson born Los Angeles, CA. Opposed Iraq War; US Ambassador to Micronesia, 1998-2001.

  • 1943 Stefanie Powers born Hollywood, CA. Antiwar actress; international advocate for wildlife conservation.

  • 1958 Faiza Jama Mohamed born Somalia. Active in Somali women’s movements of the 1990s. Africa Prize Laureate of Hunger Project, 2008.

  • 1962 Naomi Wolf born San Francisco, CA. American Jewish author and social critic; third wave feminist; Rhodes scholar. Warned of fascism in The End of America, 2007; arrested in Occupy protest, 2011.

  • 1971 Rutuparna Mohanty born Kapaleswar, Kendrapara district, Orissa, India. Indian human rights lawyer; “The Fighter Woman” of Gandhian heritage; founded Maa Ghara (Mothers Home) shelter, 2004; Joan Kroc Woman Peacemaker, 2013; began India Women Peacemakers Award, 2014.

  • 1982 Anne Hathaway born Brooklyn, NY. Actress; supporter of UNICEF and Amnesty International campaign against child soldiers.

Women's peacemaking on this day

  • 1916 Premiere of silent film War Brides, based on popular play written by Marion Craig Wentworth.

  • 1983 111 "Karen Silkwoods" arrested at Pine Gap, Australia.

  • 1987 25 Finnish women tried for nuclear plant protest.

  • 1991 Women's Action Agenda 21 by World's Women Congress for a Healthy Planet, Miami.

  • 2002 Donna Sheehan led 50 nude women in spelling out “PEACE” in Love field, Point Reyes, Marin.

  • 2009 Charter for Compassion adopted, promoted by Karen Armstrong.

  • 2013 Eight women formed blockade at the entrance to Vermont Yankee nuclear plant. A banner behind them read “Fuel Rods=Catastrophe.”