cooperation with Brandeis University A far reaching the social revolution has completely changed the status of women in the past hundred years emerging from the home to work and study American women soon militantly demanded and won equal status and the right to vote. Their achievements since 1919 have been impressive. Higher education is commonplace and increasing number of women spend part of their life working. Some even do work traditionally performed by men. Adjustment to this great revolution has not been easy for either sex. Not completely happy being just a housewife, the American woman at the same time does not seem to be making the most of the rights her grandmother secured for her. Few American women hold high office. Too few are entering professions where they are sorely needed.
Sometimes those with do work receive less pay than men performing the same functions. President Kennedy recently created the Commission on the Status of Women to uncover these inequalities and recommend appropriate action. But in today's rapidly changing society the complex reasons behind women's apparent indifference to their opportunities and rights also need to be explored so that women can fulfill themselves, not only as wives and mothers, but as complete individuals. At the White House recently, President Kennedy discussed the Commission on the status of women with its chairman Mrs. Roosevelt. Mr. President I would like to thank you for being on this program. You probably don't realize it but in the three years that we have run this program, you have been our most distinguished guest. and we are very grateful to you. I was glad to have you at the White House again, Ms. Roosevelt. Thank you, Mr. President. Now, I would like to ask you, because I
have always been interested in women's affairs, and I was very much honored when you made me chairman of your new committee on the status of women. Perhaps you would be willing to tell the people what prompted you to name this committee at this time and what you feel is the real need for it. Well, we are attempting to make sure that the women, for example, who work, one-third of our working force are women, we want to try to encourage every company in the United States, and certainly, stimulate the governmental leadership in providing equal pay and equal conditions for women. 22 states do it now. We can do a much better job on that. We want to make sure that the available talent that we have in this country in trained women is being used effectively. I think we want to make sure that some recognition is given to the special problems women have as the mother and the housewife and at the same time their desires to participate usefully in public and private
life. This is a matter of great national concern and I think in this great society of ours, we want to be sure that women are used as effectively as they can to provide better a better life for our people. In addition to meeting there primary responsibility which is in the home. Thank you very much, I think that's a very good objective. But there is one thing that I think a great many are interested in, and that is to hear where women have, in in many ways a very much better situation than they have in other countries that still in some of the other countries women can be found in higher positions, policy-making positions, or legislative positions, than they are in this country. Have you and idea why it is that in this country we have not Somehow managed or found people to put into these higher positions? Well, I suppose the first is the interruption in their careers
that take place is the lives of most women because of their keeping a family and raising children. But I quite agree, I don't think we make the most use of our talent, not only in the government. And there are An awful lot of women that hold very key positions in in the government, I think. In fact, the other day when we gave the award for the five outstanding civil servants, two of them were women. Women of great technical skill. We have women in the U.N. delegation of which you are a distinguished example. And we have them as treasurer, but I still think we ought to do better. I think we ought to do better in the field of medicine, for example. The number of grils who are admitted to medical school and the number of practicing doctors, I don't think we do as good a job in this country as we ought to. We do better than a number of other countries but not nearly as well considering the talented women that we have and the great need for doctors. I think they do a good job in teaching, but medicine is one of the great areas where I think we should stimulate. I think women make good doctors. They have the personal
the qualities and the patience. I think to have 2 or 3 percent of each class admitted is a great lack. And I know I'm always getting letters from you, Mrs. Roosevelt, about getting women in these policy making job. We are very conscious of that responsibility. I'm very conscious of the fact that this ought to happen but I'm also conscious of the difficulties and I frequently, in answering foreign people saying that women, in this country, have greater difficulties because of our ways of life, that a woman in India has a multitude of family she can leave her children with because she lives with grandparents, sisters and brothers, and here, this is a great problem. So I see all the problems, but I still think that we should use everything available and therefore I want to see women used, to the very best of their ability. That's the thing I'd like to ask you about