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1948: Women at the United Nations

The Story


There's important work under way at the United Nations. As representatives from around the globe debate human rights, a parallel discussion on women's rights takes place. CBC commentator Anne Francis is there, although she admits she finds it "boring" to talk about women's rights separate from human rights. But she's impressed by the distinguished women on the committee, including the member who exemplifies the adage: "If you want to lead a women's movement, do it in a smart hat."

Medium: Radio
Program: This Week
Broadcast Date: Jan. 17, 1948
Commentator: Anne Francis
Duration: 14:18
Photo: Judge Dorothy Kenyon, 1939; International News

Did You know?


• The UN's Commission on the Status of Women was founded in 1946 as a subcommittee of the Commission on Human Rights. Its earliest meetings, in 1947 and 1948, were particularly concerned with the rights of married women: their nationality, their political rights and their consent in marriage.
• At the outset the commission had 15 members; its membership is now 45 women drawn from regions around the globe.

• "Anne Francis" was a pseudonym used by Florence Bird, who adopted the name in the late 1930s when she began writing columns for the Winnipeg Tribune. Her broadcasting career started in 1942, and she worked as a journalist, documentary maker and producer until 1966.
• In 1967 Bird was appointed to chair the Royal Commission on the Status of Women. She was appointed to the Senate in 1978 and died in 1998 at age 90.


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