The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers, Digital Edition > My Day
My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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NEW YORK, Friday —If women work, communities must consider the young children. They can be cared for in day nurseries and nursery schools, but these must be organized and a trained person must be in charge at all times. They will probably have to run 24 hours a day, since women will be on varying shifts.

This will mean providing places where children can sleep comfortably if they cannot be left at home. There must be a housekeeper's service, such as that organized by WPA, which mothers can call upon when there are sick children at home and the mothers have to go to work.

Transportation to and from schools for older children must be planned, and recreation for all ages is vital. Schools will have to become the homes of the community during the hours when the mothers are away from home.

We have already, as was pointed out in New York City by Justice Justine Polier's interesting articles, a rising juvenile delinquency problem in many places. This problem can best be met by the organization of recreation for out of school hours, and it should be planned for young people who work on a part time or full time basis, as well as for students.

These young people have more money than they have ever had before and unless they are trained to use that money wisely, to invest some of it for their own future needs, as well as for the good of the country, we shall find young people indulging in very harmful activities.

There is, in addition, a health problem to be considered. Careful supervision of the children, young people and the women at work is necessary. This can be no longer left to the individual famiilies, but must be organized on a community basis.

If a woman puts in a full day's work, what is left of her energy must be given to her family in personal contact and not in drudgery. Therefore, family restaurants will have to be organized as they have been abroad. Here good food may be obtained for entire families at the same price as they would pay for food at home.

If we wish to preserve the family gathering around a home table once a day, the woman must be able to order the food she wishes for the evening meal, all packed in containers ready to put on the table. Community laundries also seem essential.

Here is an outline of the community problems. Every community will vary, but these seem to me the essential services to be considered now.



Names and Terms Mentioned or Referenced

  • New York (N.Y., United States) [ index ]

About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, October 10, 1942

Roosevelt, Eleanor, 1884-1962
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Digital edition created by The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers Project The George Washington University 312 Academic Building 2100 Foxhall Road, NW Washington, DC 20007

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MEP edition publlished on June 30, 2008.

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Transcription created from a photocopy of a UFS wire copy of a My Day column instance archived at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library.