The California Commission on the Status of Women and Girls is honored to announce that the state budget includes additional one-time funding of 7.9 million dollars, 5 million of which will be utilized to facilitate a statewide Women’s Recovery Response in the wake of COVID-19. The Commission thanks the Governor and the California Legislature, especially Budget staff and Chairs Senator Nancy Skinner and Assemblymember Phil Ting, and Women’s Caucus Chair Assemblymember Christina Garcia, for their commitment to California’s women and girls.
“I am delighted to see this historic financial commitment and I look forward to leading the effort to build a recovery plan that puts women and families at the center,” said Commission Chair Lauren Babb. “This funding will provide the foundational support needed to begin to reverse the devastating impacts of COVID-19 on the women and families of California, particularly those who were already struggling before the pandemic.”
As the state entity tasked with assessing gender equity in multiple issue areas including health, safety, employment, education, and others, the California Commission on the Status of Women and Girls is uniquely positioned to uplift local commissions and the direct service providers they work with to help ensure that women’s needs are centered in the statewide recovery efforts. The additional investment will begin to insert structural support and resources into the network of local commissions while the California Commission continues to act as a statewide convener, facilitator, and oversight administrator.
Women’s commissions are governmental bodies exclusively dedicated to the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women. They advise local governments and the public on issues affecting women and girls, such as such as poverty, homelessness, domestic violence, childcare, education, pay equity, and recently the impacts of COVID-19 on women and families. There are only 30 total local commissions on women in California at either the county or city level, with none established north of Sacramento.
“The Commission will build on this investment to support the intersectional needs of women and girls statewide and ensure that response efforts are local, and women led,” said Interim Executive Director Holly Martinez. “I am honored to have the opportunity to help make this effort a reality for the Commission and for the women of California. The commitment to women’s recovery by Governor Newsom and the Women’s Caucus is a key element in building a better California for ALL.”
By working to strengthen the existing network of local commissions, the California Commission on the Status of Women and Girls seeks to build a more direct system of support for women in communities across the state. This effort fills a key gap in California for detailed information on the needs of women and girls in the counties where local women commissions are active, and will provide a stronger analysis of women’s representation among under-resourced communities across the state that currently do not have a local commission.
As we grapple with the long-term consequences of this pandemic, it is imperative that women across the state, in all industries and localities receive the support they need. The California Commission on the Status of Women and Girls is committed to leading the work to understand the impact of COVID-19 on women and families and ensuring that they are represented. This funding and the commitment from those who championed it is a key element of rebuilding in the wake of the pandemic. By investing in the network of local women’s commissions who represent the needs and voices of women and girls at the city and county level, The California Commission on the Status of Women and Girls is proud to take a critical step toward equitable recovery statewide.
For more than 50 years, the California Commission on the Status of Women and Girls has identified and worked to eliminate inequities in state laws, practices, and conditions that affect California’s women and girls. Established as a state agency with 17 appointed commissioners in 1965, the Commission regularly assesses gender equity in health, safety, employment, education, and equal representation in the military, and the media. The Commission provides leadership through research, policy and program development, education, outreach and collaboration, advocacy, and strategic partnerships.