OCTOBER 9, 1945
NEW YORK, Monday—The American Association for the United Nations, Inc., has organized a United Nations Youth Group. On Saturday morning they met at 45 East 65th Street, and I went in to talk to them for a few minutes. There were young people from public and private schools in New York City, members of the Girl Scouts and Camp Fire Girls, the YMCA, Boys Clubs, Youth Builders and similar organizations. It was an alive group and the questions came easily. They were provocative questions showing that the young people feel they have a responsibility and are very anxious to find ways of bearing an actual part, even as pre-voters, in the world of today.
I enjoyed my few minutes with them, and went from there to the Women's Trade Union League luncheon. Here they had spent the morning discussing the position of women in industry, with special emphasis on their labor union problems.
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Women find themselves, in many cases, a minority group and are isolated in just the way that certain nationality and religious groups are. My particular subject was "Women As Citizens," and as all women are now citizens, that is one place in which they need not function as a minority group unless they allow themselves to be pushed aside. It is necessary for working women in this country not to forget that, important as their special problems are to them, the problems that are before the whole nation are even more important—since no special problems can be settled except in the context of the whole problem which faces the country.
For instance, women may want to work, but unless there is full employment they will not obtain jobs. They must therefore be primarily interested in what is done in our national economy to provide work for all those who want work. They may have a special interest in their homes and in their children. But if war comes, they have to conform to the requirements of service for young people and of home conditions which govern the country as a whole.
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In this field of citizenship, women do not have to function as minority groups. If women want to take part in their local, state and national governments today, they can do so with complete equality. The only thing they have to do is to prove that they can obtain the votes. That means that they will not only have to vote themselves, but will have to see to it that the other women in their localities also vote. They will in addition have to talk about the matters which affect them as citizens, and not just about their own special interests. Their responsibility is just as heavy as that of the men.