Men have fought wars for thousands of years, acting as if it were legitimate. There have always been women questioning and opposing such a destructive method of managing human conflict.
Men who make war have been valorized and held up as our heroes--history books are skewed heavily toward them. Women who make peace or stand in opposition to war have been brushed aside, or, if they couldn't be dismissed immediately, were ignored by history books written by men.
This is to offer some small note of appreciation for just a few of these sheroes for peace.
Jane Addams, founder, Hull House, president of Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, pacifist, Nobel Peace Laureate
Joan Baez, singer for peace and justice, promoter of nonviolence
Elise Boulding, co-founder International Peace Research Association, peace activist, led Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, created Inventing a World Without Weapons
Helen Caldicott, founder, Women's Action for Nuclear Disarmament
Dorothy Day, pacifist, founder of Catholic Worker movement, jailed many times for peace
Carrie Dann, Shoshone nonviolent Native rights activist
Barbara Deming, peace writer and activist
Mary Dyer, Quaker martyr for nonviolent assertion of freedom of religion
Randall Forsberg, Mother of the Nuclear Freeze
Emma Goldman, anarchist and convert to nonviolence
Jean Gump, Plowshare resister
Julia Butterfly Hill, treesitter and the largest war tax resistance ever
Dolores Huerta, co-founder, United Farmworkers Union, co-leader of immigrant and farmworker's rights nonviolent movement
Kathy Kelly, founder, Voices for Creative Nonviolence, pacifist prisoner for peace
Aung San Suu Kyi, Burmese leader for nonviolent liberation, Nobel Peace Laureate
Barbara Lee, Congresswoman who alone voted for peace after 9.11.01
Wangari Maathai, Nobel Peace Laureate synthesized environmentalism, women's rights, peace
Elizabeth McAlister, co-founder, Jonah House and Atlantic Life Community
Margaret Mead, anthropologist, challenged notion that war is our only natural option
Sr. Anne Montgomery, Plowshare resister many times, accompaniment activist for children in hot conflict regions
Lucretia Mott, abolitionist advocate for nonviolence and women's rights
Alva Myrdal, disarmament proponent, Nobel Peace Laureate
Michele Naar-Boertje Obed, Plowshares resister, Christian Peacemaker Teams
Diane Nash, co-founder, Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, Civil Rights leader
Alice Paul, nonviolent resister for women's suffrage
Rosa Parks, Civil Rights nonviolent resister, inspired the 1955-1965 nonviolent Civil Rights movement
Jeannette Rankin, only Congressperson to vote against entering WWI and WWII
Jodi Williams, Nobel Peace Laureate for her leadership banning landmines
Helen Woodson, Plowshare resister
This list is a barebones beginning and could go on for a good long while. Please add your own.
Green, Monica. Women in the antinuclear movement. 2007. In Stassen, Glen Harold & Wittner, Lawrence S. (Eds.) Peace action: Past, present, and future. Boulder, CO: Paradigm Publishers. 89-100.