The woman who made the difference
Eleanor Roosevelt was a pioneer in the Human Rights movement. She was born on the 11th October 1884, in New York. This powerful woman, who was married to Franklin Roosevelt, was the First Lady of US during the II World War. In the White House, she was one of the most active first ladies in history and worked for political, racial and social justice.
There were many episodes where she showed her support to these causes. This is one example: in 1938 she went the inaugural meeting of Southern Conference for Human Welfare. There she sat directly beside an African American associate, ignoring the designated whites-only section. After being told that Birmingham’s segregationist policies prohibited whites and blacks from sitting together at public functions, the First Lady asked for a ruler. Then she said: “Now measure the distance between this chair and that one,”. Upon examining this gap separating the white and black seating areas, the first lady placed her chair directly in its center. There she defiantly sat, in a racial no-man’s land, until the meeting concluded. “They were afraid to arrest her,” one witness claimed.
Eleanor was elected delegate of the United Nations in 1946. This organization had a commission dedicated especially to Human Rights which was made up by eighteen members from various political, cultural and religious backgrounds. Due to her impact and effort she was recognized as the driving force for this commission and led to the creation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
For these reasons Eleanor is such an important figure in our History and everybody should see her as an example to be followed.
Margarida Morim, 10A
Marta Nicolau, 10A