September 12

Women peacemakers born today

  • 1838 Elizabeth Spence Watson born Newcastle-on-Tyne, England (d. 1919). Quaker absolute pacifist; suffragist. Opposed all wars, including World War I.

  • 1859 Florence Kelley (d. 1932). Quaker-raised social reformer; co-founded WILPF, NAACP, Womens Peace Party; opposed World War I; anti-imperialist; Socialist; suffragist; peacemaking colleague of Jane Addams.

  • 1876 Elisabeth Freeman born Chesterfield, Derbyshire, England (d. 1942). Anglo-American militant suffragist and pacifist who opposed World War I; organized spectacular suffrage protests including leading a yellow gypsy wagon in DC; NAACP Anti-Lynching Campaign in Texas 1916; first women’s train on presidential campaign 1916.

  • 1881 Constanze Hallgarten born Leipzig (d. 1969). Leading German Jewish pacifist; WILPF founding member; leader of German Peace Cartel (DFK); organized Munich Peace Exhibition 1927; exiled by Hitler.

  • 1897 Irène Joliot-Curie born Paris, France (d. 1956). Nobel Chemistry Prize 1930; Cold War pro-Communist pacifist; engaged feminist; suffragette; leader of World Women’s Committee Against War and Fascism 1934; Resistance to Nazis WWII; leader of pacifist Women’s International Democratic Federation (WIDF); supported Stockholm Appeal for Peace 1950; signed Russell-Einstein Call for Peace of Scientists 1955. Opposed use of nuclear material for bombs.

  • 1940 Linda Gray born Santa Monica, CA. Nonviolent activist actress, opposed to war; decade as UN Goodwill Ambassador 1998-2007, including mission to Nicaragua on childrens' health; chaired UNFPA's Face to Face Campaign, to raise awareness of women denied basic human rights, including reproductive health care and family planning.

Women's peacemaking on this day

  • 1984 First National Women's Conference to Prevent Nuclear War, Washington DC, speaker Joanne Woodward.

  • 1997 Mary Robinson took office as UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.