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Iran Human Rights Documentation Center Celebrates International Women’s Day

Eleanor Roosevelt

No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.

The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.

Eleanor Roosevelt

Eleanor Roosevelt was Chairperson of United Nations Commission on Human Rights that drafted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the first international document that sets out fundamental human rights to which all people are entitled. Since its proclamation by the U.N. General Assembly in December 1948, the Declaration has inspired human rights and women rights activists throughout the world. The Universal of Human Rights is Eleanor Roosevelt’s greatest legacy.

Roosevelt believed that “(i)t isn’t enough to talk about peace. One must believe in it. And it isn’t enough to believe in it. One must work at it.” Although she did not have an academic background, she held a deep belief in human dignity and worth. At the end of World War II, Roosevelt, the widow of Franklin D. Roosevelt, the 32nd President of the United States, intensified her activities for peace and human rights. She was the only female member of the Commission for Human Rights and played an instrumental role in drafting the Declaration. The day she submitted the Declaration for review to the United National General Assembly, she said:

"We stand today at the threshold of a great event both in the life of the United Nations and in the life of mankind. This declaration may well become the international Magna Carta for all men everywhere. We hope its proclamation by the General Assembly will be an event comparable to the proclamation in 1789 [of the French Declaration of the Rights of Man], the adoption of the Bill of Rights by the people of the U.S., and the adoption of comparable declarations at different times in other countries."

Roosevelt served as the first United Sates representative to the United Nation Commission on Human Rights until 1953. She continued to lead an active political and social life, delivering lectures at universities until her health rapidly declined after she was struck by a car. She died at her home in New York on November 7, 1962 at age 78.

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