FEBRUARY 5, 1953
CHAPEL HILL, N.C., Wednesday—I want to develop a little further the idea of real integration in political party work, in accordance with policy as announced by the chairman of the Democratic National Committee.
We all know that it is one thing to announce such integration and another thing really to see it carried out. There must be a real determination to have the women consulted on every level. It is not integration when women are simply told that a decision on policy has been made, without them having been included in the discussions on every level.
I remember very well when I was appointed for the first time in January of 1946 as a delegate to the first General Assembly of the United Nations which was held in London. The late Senator Vandenberg met me in the corridor of the ship on our way over and said: "Mrs. Roosevelt, we have decided to ask you to serve on Committee Three." I accepted gratefully and started to prepare myself for this work, but nevertheless I knew there was an inner circle among the delegates and I was not included in that group.
This habit that men sometimes have of making the decisions and then announcing them to the women is one that will require a little watchfulness on the part of the men.
It is perfectly natural for the men to forget the women; they have been in the habit of doing that for a long time, and the women have let themselves be forgotten. One of the reasons in many cases was that the women didn't help substantially in raising funds and then had to ask the men for such funds as they needed to carry on their activities.
Under the new plan all activities will be joint activities, all funds will be joint funds. So, women everywhere must learn to help in raising those funds.
It is said today that women in many cases control the expenditures of the family. They decide what shall be given to charity, what shall be spent for pleasure and education. Therefore, they should also decide what part of the family budget shall be spent for the legitimate development of the ideas they think important in government.
The integration of women into the party machinery is only a sign that women are being integrated into all sides of the life of our nation. If the man is the only breadwinner in the family or the only source of income, still his wife or the women of his family determine the way in which the money coming into the house is spent.
Men and women are partners today—partners in a way that may be much the same as in the past, but which has never been as clearly defined and fully acknowledged as it is going to be in the future.
This integration into the party machinery is just one sign of the times. Both men and women must work together to see that it is real integration—that women do their full share of work but that they also get their full share of recognition.