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Lady Gaitskell Has A Few Words About Equal Rights For Women – 1967 – Past Daily Reference Room

Demonstrations For Equal Pay/Equal Rights - 1960s
The issue of Equal Rights was taking on global proportions in the 1960s -it was after all, the decade of Protest.
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Anna Dora Gaitskell, Baroness Gaitskell (25 April 1901 – 1 July 1989) was a British Labour Party politician and wife of Hugh Gaitskell, leader of the Labour Party 1955–63.

She was a delegate at the UN General Assembly and member of the All Party Committee for Human Rights from 1977 to 1989. She was also Trustee of the Anglo-German Federation. She remained loyal to the Labour Party when most of her husband’s supporters left to form the Social Democratic Party.

This interview, actually panel discussion, features Gaitskell as well as Ambassador Patricia Roberts Harris, Law professor and member of the UN Delegation on Women’s Rights, and Kate Gill, a junior at Bronxville high School. Together they discuss, with moderator Mitchell Krause, the current state of Women’s Rights in the World as well as the U.S. and UK and why legislation, proposed by the UN General Assembly in 1963, had taken so long to see any progress. Granted, the issue of racial discrimination had taken front and center over recent years with discussions and legislation, but it was at the cost of delaying talk of Women’s Rights. The issues of Equal Pay, Political equality and steps to prevent penalties for working women in cases of pregnancy and childbirth were being brought up at this Annual Meeting of the UN General Assembly. During the Third or Social Committee meetings, work was continuing work on the Draft Declaration on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women.

Some background:

The Declaration on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women is a human rights proclamation issued by the United Nations General Assembly, outlining that body’s views on women’s rights. It was adopted by the General Assembly on 7 November 1967.[1] The Declaration was an important precursor to the legally binding 1979 Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women.

The Declaration follows the structure of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, with a preamble followed by eleven articles.

Article 1 declares that discrimination against women is “fundamentally unjust and constitutes an offense against human dignity”. “Discrimination” is not defined.

Article 2 calls for the abolition of laws and customs which discriminate against women, for equality under the law to be recognized, and for states to ratify and implement existing UN human rights instruments against discrimination.

Article 3 calls for public education to eliminate prejudice against women.

Article 4 calls for women to enjoy full electoral rights, including the right to vote and the right to seek and hold public office.

Article 5 calls for women to have the same rights as men to change their nationality.

Article 6 calls for women to enjoy full equality in civil law, particularly around marriage and divorce, and calls for child marriages to be outlawed.

Article 7 calls for the elimination of gender discrimination in criminal punishment.

Article 8 calls on states to combat all forms of traffic in women and exploitation of prostitution of women.

Article 9 affirms an equal right to education regardless of gender.

Article 10 calls for equal rights in the workplace, including non-discrimination in employment, equal pay for equal work, and paid maternity leave.

Article 11 calls on states to implement the principles of the Declaration.

Here is that discussion on the proposed Declaration (as of this broadcast) with Lady Gaitskell, Patricia Roberts Harris and Kate Gill, as it was aired by a Pre-PBS N.E.T. on October 6,1967.

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