Maria Voce

Overview

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Maria Voce Emmaus born Aiello Calabro, Calabria, Italy July 16, 1937. Italian lawyer. Second head of global Focolare Movement, lay Catholic peace and humanitarian movement, 2008.

Quotations

The response to the ‘piecemeal world war’ is to build world peace ‘one piece at a time,’ through small steps, and concrete gestures. Everyone has a role to play. Everyone is responsible. . . reinventing peace means loving other countries as our own, loving other peoples, ethnicities and cultures as our own.” (to UNESCO, Paris, Nov. 15, 2016; photo asianews.it)

Elena Vacarescu

Overview

Elena Văcărescu born Bucharest September 21, 1864 (d. 1947). Romanian poet, author, and folklorist; first and only woman ambassador to League of Nations 1925-6 (interim 1922-4, 1926-39); delegate to two peace conferences 1919, 1945; co-founder UNESCO’s predecessor, International Institute of Intellectual Cooperation 1924 to promote intellectual cooperation, human rights, disarmament, collective security, and peaceful settlement; two-time laureate of French Academy.

Quotations

"After losing our best officers and bravest soldiers, we at last became masters of the place, but when weary and haggard, mere wrecks of humanity, we tried to regain our encampments, we had to wade through a lake of blood in which corpses lay thick under the starlit sky." (her father’s account of 1877 Battle of Plevna, Kings and Queens I Have Known, p. 150, 1904; photo Wikipedia)

Hedi Vaccaro Frehner

Overview

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Hedi Vaccaro Frehner born near Zürich, Switzerland January 1, 1926 (d. 2014). Italian peace activist; mathematician; founding head Italian Fellowship of Reconciliation 1962ff.; won National Prize for Culture of Peace 1992; long fast against India-Pakistan War 1972; opposed Vietnam War, nuclear missiles, conscription.

Quotations

"I've always felt that my life was guided; No, I've never had to choose. When I did act, I acted because I understood within me that those were the right things to do. My life was not the result of a rational, predetermined path.” (quote and photo “Movimento Internazionale della Riconciliazione 60th anniversary)

Mathilde Vaerting

Overview

Mathilde Themis Vaerting born Messingen, Lower Saxony, Germany January 10, 1884 (d. 1977). German professor of education; psychologist; authority on gender differences. Showed that dominance by either sex could cause war; fired and banned by Nazis, 1933.

Quotations

The more power-free interaction is interspersed in a people, the greater is its tendency to cooperate with other peoples, and its ability to achieve peace.” (“The Structure of the Peaceful Human”, 1933, p.8)

It is absolutely essential that humanity should discover ways and means for the permanent realisation of the ideal of sex equality, and for the permanent prevention of either type of monosexual dominance.” (The Dominant Sex, 1923, p. 268; photo Danish Peace Academy)

Urvashi Vaid

Overview

Urvashi Vaid born New Delhi, India October 8, 1958. Attorney; human rights advocate; gay rights leader; ACLU lawyer; anti-Apartheid leader; co-founder of New Yorkers Say No to War, 2003; arrested at White House protest on abortion, 1992; opposed wars in Vietnam, Gulf, Iraq, Afghanistan.

Quotations

"9.11 resulted in a massive militarization of American society, the dramatic re-orientation of fiscal priorities at the national level, cutbacks in domestic civil liberties and freedom, the launching of two wars (Afghanistan and Iraq) so far, and the implementation of the new doctrine of 'pre-emptive' attack as one of our chief foreign policy strategies." (NE University, March 24, 2005; photo cuny clags)

Marie-Claude Vaillant-Couturier

Overview

Marie-Claude Vaillant-Couturier (née Vogel) born Paris, France November 3, 1912 (d. 1996). French Communist politican; photojournalist; Resistance heroine; arrested 1942, survived Auschwitz, Ravenbrück; Secretary General pacifist Women’s International Democratic Federation (WIDF) 1946; opposed Vietnam War 1949, Algerian War, Korean War; witness at Nüremberg Trials.

Quotations

We know the anguish of American mothers who are losing their sons in this useless war. . . We ask you. . . to do everything possible to stop the war of extermination being conducted against the Korean people, while at the same time saving your own sons from destruction.” (Sept. 15, 1952 WIDF appeal; photo memoire vive)

Camila Vallejo Dowling

Overview

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Camila Vallejo Dowling born Santiago, Chile April 28, 1988. Chilean Communist student leader in 2011 nonviolent protests for education.

Quotations

"We don't want violence, our fight is not versus the police or to destroy commercial shops. . . Our fight is to recover the right to education, on that we have been emphatic and clear." (BrooWaha, Aug. 26, 2011; photo Wikipedia)

Jo Vallentine

Overview

Josephine “Jo” Vallentine born Perth, Australia May 30, 1946. Australian Quaker peace activist. Represented Nuclear Disarmament party in Senate, 1985-92. Arrested and jailed for Pine Gap protest, 1987; marched on Clark Air Base, Philippines, 1989. Co-founded Alternatives to Violence Project, 1994; made Peace Pilgrimage part of Anti-Nuclear Alliance, 1997; took part in Jabiluka campaign against uranium mine, 1998.

Quotations

Extraordinary circumstances like the threat of nuclear war require ordinary citizens to take extraordinary action.” (The Age, Oct. 19, 1987)

Thillaiyadi Valliammai

Overview

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Thillaiyadi Valliammai born Thilliayadi, Tamilnadu, India February 22, 1898 (d. 1914). Satyagrahi martyr. Activist against South African apartheid policies. Arrested and sentenced to 3 months hard labor, 1913; died shortly after release on her 16th birthday.

Quotations

To Gandhi, on the consequences of her activism: “Repent? I am even now ready to go to jail again if I am arrested.” (quote & photo Wikipedia)

Chris Van Den Wyngaert

Overview

Christine Van Den Wyngaert born Antwerp, Belgium April 2, 1952. Former singer and songwriter; professor of international law. Judge of World Court in arrest warrant case, 2000-02; judge of Yugoslav War Crimes Tribunal (ICTY), 2003-09; judge International Criminal Court, 2009-present. League of Human Rights prizewinner, 2006. Presiding judge in sentencing Bosnian Croat commander Ivica Rajic for 1993 destruction of Stupni Do, 2005; sentenced Bosnian Serb soldier Dragan Zelenović for torture and rape of eight Muslim women as crimes against humanity, 2007.

Quotations

"The sentence should reflect that the crimes were committed on a large scale and were of a particularly violent nature and caused severe pain to the victims and their relatives." (May 8, 2006, ICC Rajic trial, p.273; photo ICTY)

Adrienne van Melle-Hermans

Overview

Adrienne van Melle-Hermans born The Hague, Netherlands April 25, 1931 (d. 2007). Dutch peacemaker; opposed racism against immigrants. Opened contact with Eastern European women during Cold War; co-founded Dutch Women for Peace, 1979; opened clinic for children in Balkan War, 1994; nominated for Nobel Peace Prize, 2005.

Quotations

"I found that it was the men in the governments who made peace, but that peace can only happen on the ground if the women are involved." (World People's Blog, February 1, 2009; photo 1000 Nobel women)

Narcissa Cox Vanderlip

Overview

Narcissa Cox Vanderlip born Quincy, IL February 9, 1879 (d. 1966). Internationalist; organizer; suffragist. Chairperson of New York League of Women Voters, 1919-23; served as judge for Bok Peace Prize with Esther Lape and Eleanor Roosevelt. Promoted League of Nations and World Court with Eleanor Roosevelt. (photo http://bit.ly/IKq4c2)

Jennie Vanlerberghe

Overview

Jennie Vanlerberghe born Oostnieuwkerke, Belgium May 14, 1945. Founded Mothers for Peace Ypres for aid to Yugoslavia, 1992; expanded to Somalia, Afghanistan; war correspondent; nominated for Nobel Peace Prize 2011; Ypres Peace Prize 2009.

Quotations

In Palestine and Bosnia, I have seen that the women who muster their forces back after the conflict and rebuild the country. They bring the family back together. Their husbands and sons were war criminals and rapists, and I think it's just the women, however difficult, were able there to deal with it and move on with life.” (Vrede.be, March 17, 2007; photo demorgen.be)

Tep Vanny

Overview

Tep Vanny born Phnom Penh, Cambodia April 12, 1980. Human rights activist. Jailed for peaceful protest, 2012. Received Vital Voices Global Leadership Award for her efforts to preserve Boeung Kak Lake in land conflict, 2013.

Quotations

The way [Cambodian] women demonstrate is not physical. They use their voices. It is a collection of voices to spread awareness. For men, there is more violence. When someone commits violence against them, they feel like they must fight back, but it is high risk because they can be accused of violence. With a woman’s strategy, we can endure it better. [Our] strategy reduces violence.” (April 1, 2013, Michelle Tolson, WIPnet; photo Vital Voices)

Genevieve Vaughn

Overview

Genevieve Vaughn born Corpus Christi, TX November 21, 1935. American resident of Italy; semiotician; promoted Gift Economy; peace advocate, founder Feminist International for Peace and Food 1984; sponsored Peace Tent at Nairobi Women’s conference 1984; Women’s peace meetings Moscow 1987; European Peace Caravans; US-Salvador women’s meeting 1991; Women’s Peace Caravan to end the Nuclear Age 1994; Colombian women on Peace Boat 2001.

Quotations

I have witnessed the waste of the world’s wealth on armaments, justified by military paranoia. It is no longer only the transfer of the (free)’gift’ of wealth from the poor to the rich that is the problem, but the defense of that transfer by the military, and resources wasted on that defense. We have fostered institutions of Patriarchal paranoia, instead of institutions of human nurturing and the creation of community.” (The Gift Economy; photo MAGO E*magazine)

Andresia Vaz

Overview

Andrésia Vaz born Senegal February 4, 1944. Judge; first President of Senegalese Supreme Court, 1997. Elected to International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, 2001; appointed to Appeals Chamber, 2005.

Quotations

"Vincent Rutaganira is guilty of extermination as a crime against humanity, for having by omission, aided and abetted the massacre of thousands of Tutsi civilians who had taken refuge at Mubugu Church." (Decision § 169, March 14, 2005; photo ICTY)

Simone Veil

Overview

Simone Veil (née Jacob) born Nice, France July 13, 1927. "First Lady of Europe". First woman president European Parliament 1979; first woman winner of Charlemagne Prize for European unity and peace 1981; Auschwitz survivor.

Quotations

"I am placing my hope in Europe, in a Europe that has overcome hatred and barbarism to commit itself to achieving peace and solidarity between the peoples of Europe."

"What a country calls its vital interests are not things that help its people live, but things that help it make war." (Ecrites Historiques, 1960; photo femmescelebres.com)