Photo: UN Photo.Photo: UN Photo

Frieda Dalen of Norway, the first woman to address the United Nations General Assembly

In 1946, Norway's Frieda Dalen was the first woman to ever address the UN General Assembly.

Frieda Dalen was born in Skedsmo, Norway, on December 13, 1895. She was a Norwegian teacher and organizational leader.

During the occupation of Norway in the Second World War by Nazi Germany, she played a leading role in the teachers' civil resistance, representing teachers in the Coordination Committee of the Norwegian resistance movement. She had an active role in planning for Norway’s restoration and further development, particularly education and women’s rights.

After the Second World War ended, Frieda Dalen was one of the Norwegian delegates to the United Nations' first General Assembly held in London in 1946. She was the first woman to ever address the General Assembly.

Frieda Dalen was also a member of UNESCO committees from 1946 to 1958. She was also active in several unions in Norway, where she often represented women. She played a key role in both the Norwegian Women’s National Council and Norway’s Schoolmistress Union.

Frieda Dalen was also known as an inspiring lecturer with an ability to convey her message to the crowds. As an acknowledgement to her efforts and broad social engagement Frieda Dalen was awarded with the King’s Medal of Merit in gold in 1965.

Frieda Dalen passed away in Oslo in 1995, nearly 100 years old.


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