Declaration on Granting Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples

The United Nation’s “Declaration on Granting Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples” was a document released December 14, 1960. The document essentially declares that all people residing in all countries deserve specific rights:

1: Exploiting and dominating humans is against their given rights and in order for world-peace, there should not be any human exploitation.

2: Every person has their right to think freely in terms of politics, economics, social and cultural.

3: Education, politics, social and economics should prepare people.

4: All armed actions and harmful repressions will stop immediately.

5: Countries with repressive leaders will be liberated in order to obtain peace.

6:Disrupting any attempts of peace is unacceptable.

7: All states in UN will uphold this declaration and most of the UN’s documents.

Changing Roles for Women

The Statement of Purpose issued by the National Organization for Women in 1966 reflected some of the tensions present within the U.S. and many European countries during the 1906s. While NOW’s purpose was to promote equality for women, its statement also mentions issues of race, as the civil rights movement continued to blaze along in America in 1966. The 1960s are often remembered in the collective consciousness of Americans as a decade of sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll, but for many, it was a time of tension between changing social mores and conservative Christian culture.

In NOW’s statement, it explains that since women now commonly live to the age of 75, childrearing can no longer be their main purpose in life, and that as many households own labor-saving devices (such as vacuum cleaners and washing machines), housework no longer needed to occupy all of a woman’s time. Thus, NOW advocated for women to become educated and enter the workforce. NOW’s advocacy for women to shift their focuses away from wifely and motherly duties came in the midst of a national controversy over use of an oral contraceptive–a.k.a., the Pill.

In 1966, the Pope and the Catholic Church remained opposed to the Pill, and birth control use remained restricted in many of the states in the U.S. (1) While NOW supported women leaving the domestic sphere, conservative social norms still attempted to keep women locked in the role of the mother–a continuation of the Christian dichotomy of women as either the Madonna or the whore. However, by 1965, the year before NOW formed, 6.5 million American women used the Pill. (2) Clearly, NOW entered the American scene at a time when American women were poised to take control of their lives and ready for opportunities beyond motherhood.

Of course, NOW faced many challenges that it mentioned in its statement of purpose, including a sexist media, unfairness in rulings by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and lack of encouragement by parents and teachers of young girls seeking an education, but the organization maintained that women had to take action, demand equality, and create a new image for themselves. This idea of conviction and belief in one’s own truth was a common theme of activism and social protest in the 1960s.


(1) “The Pill.” PBS. Accessed April 16, 2015.

(2) Ibid.

Declaration on Granting Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples

Three points

1) The United Nations starts out by reaffirming the dignity and worth of the human person, the yearning for freedom in dependent peoples, the equal rights of men and women, and the need for better standards of life.

2) According to the UN, an end must be put to colonialism and all practices associated with it. Exploitation in colonies is a violation of human rights.

3) People and nations have the right to self-determination. A nation may be independent regardless of its social, economic, or cultural conditions.

Two questions:

What prompted this declaration?

Does this document take away from the original purpose of colonialism- to outsource labor, expand territory, and increase the diversity of consumer choices?

One point:

I thought the tone of this declaration was particularly interesting. The UN adopts an air of righteousness, when many of the countries in the UN had been employing methods of colonialism for centuries. It seems as if the countries that make up the UN suddenly realized that what they had been doing for generations was wrong. Furthermore, it’s interesting that the UN acknowledged the equal rights of men and women, when they certainly did not exist. Also, freedom is mentioned several times throughout the course of the document without any definition or guidelines as to how freedom may be defined. However, the document was written in 1960, and preceded many instrumental social and cultural movements that occurred towards the latter half of the 60s.

National Organization for Women

Statement of Purpose (1966)

  1. NOW’s mission was to rally support of all American citizens and to take action in bringing women into full participation of American Society. By exercising all the privileges and responsibilities stated in the US constitution, women must be in a truly equal partnership with men.
  2. NOW rejected all previous assumptions that a man is in charge of supporting himself, his wife, and family, and that a woman’s role is to support her husband from the home. NOW believed that marriage should be equal among both partners and the responsibilities dealing with the home and family support should be shared between husband and wife.
  3. NOW declared itself independent of any political party for the purpose of rallying political power of men and woman sharing its goals. NOW strove to make sure that no candidates who did not believe in full equality between the sexes would be elected or appointed to office.


  1. Do woman have equal rights in the United States today?
  2. Why is it that woman often make less money for a similar job where a man makes more money?


I find it unbelievable how long and how difficult a fight it was for woman to finally attain civil rights in America. In my generation, equality for women would never be a question. It amazes that in 2014 women do not have equal rights in many other countries around the world.

The Dissident Movement

In the 1960s and early 1970s, a dissident movement surfaced among Soviet intellectuals. This movement is thought to be contributed to Khrushchev lessening his control on the State. The movement illustrates the State’s inability to adapt to the expanding mobility of the people. The activists in this movement were highly motivated for their cause. Their passion and sentiments were so large, beyond their numbers.

The ways in which the people in the movement expressed their ideologies varied from protests to literature to journals. For example, the people of this movement would circulate some manuscripts of banned books. I think that this is a bold statement and showed their dedication to the cause. A leader in this movement, particularly the concept of freedom and human rights, was Andrei Sakharov. His most famous work is his essay, “Progress, Coexistence, and Intellectual Freedom”.

The Soviet State would try to suppress the events regarding this movement via propaganda. This propaganda would negate the movement’s ideologies, threaten the loss of job and imprisonment, and confiscate the literature being circulated.