1954 May 17

President Eisenhower: “Women: Where Are They Not Equal?”


At a Cabinet meeting on this day, President Dwight D. Eisenhower made the comment, “Women, where are they not equal?” The statement reflected both Eisenhower’s personal views about women and the policies of his administration. Eisenhower had one woman in his Cabinet, Oveta Culp Hobby, Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare, but his policies on women were generally poor, in keeping with the culture of the 1950s.

The feminist movement had faded away in the climate of the 1950s and would not be reborn until the mid-1960s in a very different political climate.

Learn about women and Eisenhower at the Eisenhower Presidential Library: http://www.eisenhower.archives.gov/research/online_documents/women_in_the_1950s.html

Learn more about the changes about to come: Stephanie Coontz, A Strange Stirring: The Feminine Mystique and American Women at the Dawn of the 1960s (2011)

And more: Gail Collins, When Everything Changed: The Amazing Journey of American Women from 1960 to the Present (2009)

And more about women’s rights at NOW: http://www.now.org/

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