My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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RIVER FALLS, Wis. —I met last night in New York with a group of women from all over the world. They were brought together by the Committee of Correspondents, and Miss Anna Lord Strauss presided over a delightful buffet supper which made it possible for the guests to move about and talk to many of those present. I met a charming young woman from Iran, one from Lebanon, and a very vital and interesting young woman from Uganda, among many others.

This young lady from Uganda is anxious to remain in our country a little longer to learn something about the care of orphan children. She told me that there is but one orphanage in her country. The need for another is most urgent, for many mothers still die in childbirth and there is a large percentage of children who are left homeless from babyhood.

Because multiple marriages are allowed in Uganda it is difficult to find homes for these motherless waifs in other crowded homes. This young woman, who has three children of her own, is very much concerned about what will happen if the care of the homeless children is not undertaken in a more successful way than has been possible in the past.

Many of the women at the gathering were anxious to know why we had so few women elected to our state legislatures and to our national Congress. I do not know whether my explanation was the right one, but I always feel this is largely due to the fact that we do not live in multiple-family style where mothers, aunts and grandmothers are available all the time to take care of our children.

Despite the fact that we have many gadgets that make running our homes easier, we do not have personal service available, particularly for younger people who cannot afford to pay high salaries, to take care of our children, and there is no way in which many women can leave their homes and their husbands and children to enter into public service.

Some years ago in writing a book on women in politics with Miss Lorena Hickok, we found that there were many women mayors in our country because a woman could stay at home and still do her public job as well.

All this, of course, is hard for many of our women visitors to understand, but after they have visited some of the homes of our women here they will soon come to understand the situation.

The report from India on the meeting between Premier Chou En-lai of the People's Republic of China and Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru seemed to indicate that nothing very much had been accomplished so far as border considerations are concerned.

I thought the statement made by Prime Minister Nehru was a clear and factual one. According to reports from Katmandu, however, which I saw in the newspapers, the Chinese foreign minister was very much hurt. One cannot help feeling that a good deal of this was put on for the benefit of the newspaper people and perhaps for the representatives of Nepal.

In the case of the Chinese dispute with Nepal, however, apparently the Chinese are willing to share Mt. Everest, which I suppose would leave the situation there much as it had been before. Somehow, it seems almost boastful on the part of any nation, large or small, to say that it owns a mountain. My feeling is that Mt. Everest will belong to itself for a very long time to come!


(Copyright, 1960, by United Feature Syndicate, Inc.)

Names and Terms Mentioned or Referenced

  • River Falls (Wis., United States) [ index ]

About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, May 3, 1960

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