Eleanor Roosevelt’s legacy stands on two pillars. She was an unabashed feminist, refusing to be silenced in the traditionally male world of politics. And she became a symbol of what caring for the downtrodden in society — including the poor, minorities, women, youth, and refugees — should look like. Through these two pillars, Eleanor transformed the role of the First Lady from ornamental to activist....
Eleanor faced a lot of public backlash during her time as First Lady. When she wrote magazine articles and expressed her opinions, she was likely to cause uproar. The Los Angeles Times newspaper called for her to be forced to retire from public life, because of her public criticism of the discrimination that Japanese Americans were facing. She was outspoken on the issue of racial discrimination and declared her support for civil rights. She invited hundreds of African American guests to the White House during her time as First Lady — another controversial move at the time. Her stance on racial discrimination created angry ripples across the country, especially in the South. But the critics never deterred her. Eleanor Roosevelt spoke out for those whom society cared less about at a time when women were not supposed to be speaking out at all.
LATER LIFE AND LEGACYFranklin D. Roosevelt died in 1945, and his successor, President Harry S. Truman, appointed Eleanor Roosevelt as a delegate to the United Nations General Assembly. She became the first chairperson for the United Nations Commission on Human Rights and played a key role in helping to form the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Against a backdrop of sex, politics and race, Academy Award winning filmmaker Freida
The New Yorker asked Anita Hill what has changed since she contended in 1991 that Clarence Thomas was not fit be a Supreme Court judge because he sexually harassed her.
Read a shocking article in The New Yorker about how Harvey Weinstein used private security agencies to discredit the women who accused him of sexual improprieties and to ensure their stories never became public. Individuals posing as journalists or human rights activists for women sought to gather information on these women
I recommend two pieces a strong op ed in The New York Times on the culture of complicity and a historical profile of sexual harassment from The Times
“In 1991, I testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee that Clarence Thomas, who had repeatedly harassed me when he was my boss, was unsuitable to sit on the U.S. Supreme Court,” said Hill. “The outcome of my testimony was not what I’d hoped, but in no way was it the final word. In the five years after I testified, sexual harassment complaints filed with the EEOC more than doubled. Legislation against harassment slowly but surely began to pass. And I saw that we had a chance to shift this narrative.”
|Maya Angelou at President Clinton's Inaugural|
"Ask social scientists how to end global poverty, and they will tell you: Educate girls. Capture them in that fleeting window between the ages of 10 and 14, give them an education, and watch a community change: Per capita income goes up, infant mortality goes down, the rate of economic growth increases, the rate of HIV/AIDS infection falls. Child marriage becomes less common, as does child labor. Educated mothers tend to educate their children. They tend to be more frugal with family money. Last year, the World Bank reckoned that Kenya’s illiterate girls, if educated, could boost that country’s economy by $27 billion in the course of a lifetime.
Whether an emerging nation likes it or not, its girls are its greatest resource. Educating them, as economist Lawrence Summers once said, “may be the single highest-return investment available in the developing world.”
Nowhere is that lesson more evident than in the story of Malala Yousafzai, a Pashtun girl from Pakistan’s Swat Valley who was born of an illiterate mother, grew up in her father’s school, read Stephen Hawking’s A Brief History of Time by age 11 and has a gift for stirring oratory. And nowhere did that lesson go more rebuffed than in the verdant Swat Valley, where hard-line jihadists swept out of the mountains, terrorized villages and radicalized boys, and where—one muggy day last October—a Taliban fighter leapt onto a school bus, shouted, “Who is Malala?” and shot her point-blank in the head for speaking out about her God-given right to attend school.—Marie Arana in The Washington Post
Malala tells of that life-shattering moment in a riveting memoir, I Am Malala...a book that should be read not only for its vivid drama but for its urgent message about the untapped power of girls.
The story begins with Malala’s father, Ziauddin Yousafzai, the son of an imam (a preacher of Islam), who was instilled from boyhood with a deep love of learning, an unwavering sense of justice and a commitment to speak out in defense of both. Like Mohammad Ali Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan, Ziauddin was convinced that aside from the sword and the pen, there is an even greater power—that of women — and so, when his firstborn turned out to be a bright, inquisitive daughter, he raised her with all the attention he lavished on his sons...."