Home and Agents of Social Change - Dorothy Kenyon

Kenyon Lesson Plan

Lesson Topic: The United Nations and Women
Grade: High School
Class: American History/ Government
Approx. Class Time: 2 class periods

Lesson Objective: The students will analyze the role of the Commission on the Status of Women in the post-WW II era by looking at the general framework the Committee worked within. Students can then propose their own solutions to the case studies.

Materials: "Fundamental Freedoms for All," by Dorothy Kenyon (1949) and "Illustrations of Conflicts in National Laws" by Mrs. Nason (1947).

Activity: Break the students into four groups. Give each group one of the short case studies as outlined in the Nason memo. Have them try to create a solution for the problem. What would they tell each woman to do? Have them look at current U.S. immigration laws to see what would happen if these situations occurred in the United States today. Finally, have each group present their findings to the rest of the class.

Discussion Questions:

  • Why can't the UN mandate changes in social equality?

  • What are the goals of the Committee?

  • Why is there a need for a committee like this?

  • How would you compare the United States ratings with other countries on these issues?

  • If you were in charge of the Committee, what ways would you implement the proposed strategies?

Selected Suggested Readings:
An excellent source for information regarding current immigration laws are the following web sites:

http://www.ins.usdoj.gov/graphics/index.htm and

Candice L. Bredbenner, A Nationality of Her Own: Women, Marriage and
          the Law of Citizenship
(Berkeley: University of California Press, 1998).

Stanley Meisler, United Nations: the First Fifty Years (New York: Atlantic
          Monthly Press, 1995).

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