Contributed by the Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study:

Contributed by Ellen Fitzpatrick RI '09, Carpenter Professor of History, Department of History, University of New Hampshire:


  • Duerst-Lahti, Georgia. “The Government’s Role in Building the Women’s Movement.” Political Science Quarterly 104, no. 2 (1989): 249–268.
  • Harrison, Cynthia E. “A ‘New Frontier’ for Women: The Public Policy of the Kennedy Administration.” The Journal of American History 67, no. 3 (1980): 630–646.
  • Peterson, Esther. “Working Women.” Daedalus 93, no. 2 (1964): 671–699.

Archived Materials:

  • President John F. Kennedy’s executive order establishing the President’s Commission on the Status of Women.
  • Sound recording of former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt interviewing President Kennedy about the President’s Commission on the Status of Women.


  • Photograph of President Kennedy with the President’s Commission on the Status of Women.
  • Photograph of President Kennedy signing the Equal Pay Act.

Contributed by Dorothy Sue Cobble, Distinguished Professor, Department of Labor Studies and Employment Relations, Department of History, Rutgers University:


  • Blair, Keisha and Kathryn Kish Sklar. “How Did the President’s Commission on the Status of Women and Subsequent State and Local Commissions Address Issues Related to Race, 1963–1980?” Women and Social Movements in the United States, 1600–2000 14, no. 2 (2010): 1–22.
  • Cobble, Dorothy Sue. “Labor Feminists and President Kennedy’s Commission on the Status of Women.” In No Permanent Waves: Recasting Histories of American Feminism, edited by Nancy Hewitt, 144–151. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 2010.
  • Cobble, Dorothy Sue. The Other Women’s Movement: Workplace Justice and Social Rights in Modern America. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2004.
  • Mead, Margaret and Frances B. Kaplan, eds. American Women: The Report of the US President’s Commission on the Status of Women and Other Publications of the Commission. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1965.
  • Murray, Pauli. The Autobiography of a Black Activist, Feminist, Lawyer, Priest, and Poet, 344–358. Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1987.
  • Peterson, Esther and Winifred Conkling. Restless: The Memoirs of Labor and Consumer Activist Esther Peterson, ch. 6. Washington, D.C.: Caring Publishing, 1995.
  • Peterson, Esther. “The Kennedy Commission.” In Women in Washington: Advocates for Public Policy, edited by Irene Tinker, 25–28. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage Publications, 1983.

Contributed by Elizabeth Singer More, Lecturer, Committee on Degrees in History and Literature, Harvard University:

  • This brief summary provides background and context to the Presidential Report on American women.