DECEMBER 17, 1952
NEW YORK, Tuesday—I never realized that something, which I had thought of as very simple, would take as long as we seem to be taking in arguing it.
This is a convention formulated by the Status of Women Commission of the U.N., which is intended to cover only the political rights of women. The Soviets oppose it because it does not cover all rights women should have, such as economic, social, etc. On the other hand, the Egyptian delegate yesterday said a U.N. action of this kind would retard the situation of the rights of women in his country. The delegate from Iran, Mrs. Afnan, said she did not expect that her government would be able to give these rights for some time, but she felt that passing the convention would have an influence on her government and bring to the attention not only of the government but of the women of her country the need for this change of policy.
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I attended a luncheon given by the Cosmopolitan Club yesterday for the women delegates to the U.N. Only a few were able to be on hand because the pressure of work toward the end of the session always keeps the ladies quite busy. This is the final week of the present session; in fact, we may not be able to close until December 23. For some of the delegates this will mean they will not be able to reach home for Christmas. Other delegates simply packed and departed, leaving representatives of their permanent missions to take their places.
At the luncheon yesterday the delegates present were asked to answer the question: "What do you find the most difficult to explain about the United States on your return home?"
Some of the answers to this question were quite amusing, but all had an underlying seriousness. All the delegates mentioned their impression of kindliness and hospitality here which they would carry back to their native lands. Some of them, who come from countries where food is scarce and hard to obtain, will, I fear, say that we are somewhat lavish and possibly even wasteful.
After each of the foreign representatives had spoken in answer to our question, they were asked if they would like to ask any questions, or if any of the other ladies present had any questions they would like to ask. That brought forth a rather considerable number of interesting questions, the last one being: "What is the best way for a layman who wants to help spread understanding and knowledge of the U.N. to succeed in doing so?"
I asked our foreign delegates to tell us how they tried to meet this problem of spreading information in their countries. Circumstances differ so greatly that one could easily conclude that each nation must meet this situation in its own way.
In our country I think it is essential that in every community those of us who care must take up attacks on the U.N., get the answers or explanations, and spread them abroad through every medium of information we can reach. If we let false statements go undenied, they will be accepted as the truth. Therefore, we must bestir ourselves and really get the truth before the people.