1971 Fredericton Encaenia

Alumni Oration

Delivered by: Cambon, Eileen Nason

"Urges Greater Role for Women in World Affairs" Daily Gleaner (26 May 1971). (UA Case 67a, Box 2)

Dr. Eileen Nason Cambon, alumni speaker at the UNB annual alumni dinner challenged Canadian women to share more in the issues and problems of the country and the world.

Dr. Cambon told alumni at the dinner that women have an extremely important role to play in solving the problems of population explosion, poverty, hunger, and congestion. Since the reduction of these problems depend largely on family limitation programs, "most of the impact of the programs must be on the women and the girls of the countries…", she said. "This has made the role of women even more important in terms of our future survival as a civilized society."

Resource Wastage

Dr. Cambon said women in the thirty-five to seventy-five year age bracket represent a wastage of human resources. This two thirds of women’s active adult lives should be occupied by something other than motherhood, she said. Referring to these years as "the equivalent of a second life," Dr. Cambon said "women must stop side-stepping to easy pursuits and try to plan ahead for the years between thirty-five and seventy-five."

"If one observes the sedentary, boring lives so many of our senior citizens lead, one is faced with the fact that they neglected their development as complete human beings. After forty years of home and family being her only involvement, the older woman cannot change her pattern of living."

"The new life-cycle for women makes it imperative that girls should be prepared for energetic usefulness in the later years of their lives," she said deploring the fact that of the 260,000 women sixty-five and over now in the country living alone, many are widows living on pension, and barely above the poverty line.

"Girls and women must be encouraged to seek self-fulfillment as human beings, rather than merely as females," she said.

Referring to the career woman, Dr. Cambon said she must, like anybody else "earn her place in the sun."

"Women in the professions must make their choices. That many refuse by taking the easy way out, is a reason why North American women have not kept pace with their sisters in India and Russia."

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