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Eleanor Roosevelt Interviews President Kennedy

Apr. 21, 1962 - Rearing children interferes with careers for women, according to President Kennedy. The observation was made in response to a question by Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt, whom President Kennedy has named to head his new Committee on the Status of Women. In a taped interview for a television program to be shown June 2, Mrs. Roosevelt asked why more talented women in this country were not found in “higher positions, policy-making positions or legislative positions.” “Well,” the President answered, “I suppose it’s first the interruption in their careers that takes place in the lives of most women because of their keeping a family — raising children.” Look at Radcliffe, the President went on, referring to a recent study of that college’s graduates. “The curve of academic excellence at Radcliffe is higher than it is at Harvard,” he said. “What happens to those girls two or three years later? They get married, many of them become housewives, and all that talent is used in this family life but is not used outside.”

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