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Unit 7: Set 2. Commission on the Status of Women 1964 - Activity 1

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Discussion

Women form one demographic group in North Dakota’s population.  A demographic group is a portion of the population that has something in common.  Within large demographic groups, such as the category women, there are smaller groups with more specific common characteristics, such as women over forty years of age. 

Consider the work of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) and the members of the first commission when discussing the following questions:

  1. Who were the members of the commission?  What demographic groups did they belong to? 
  2. Who among North Dakota’s citizens would be most affected by the report and the legislation the Commission recommended?  Does race, class, or age make a difference in considering the impact of this commission?
  3. Who among North Dakota’s citizens would be least interested in the work of the Commission?
  4. Read the summary of recommendations of the CSW to Governor Guy.  Have all of these recommendations been achieved today?  Was the Commission successful in its efforts to improve women’s status before the law?
  5. Read the letters in reply to the request of the Committee on Political and Civil Rights for advice on women’s relation to the law (letters from Duffy, Larson, and Name Withheld.)  What do these letters reveal about women’s status in 1964?  Are the authors of these letters in a position to adequately assess women’s status?  Why are there such wide-ranging discrepancies in the letters? 

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