The Commission recognizes the need for women to gain an equal share and to become equal participants in the areas of economics, health-care, civil rights, education and business development. The Commission also believes that proactive policies must be implemented to protect women and children from human trafficking and domestic abuse. The Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women’s Legislative and Public Policy Committee endorses and tracks legislation to achieve these goals. The Commission also meets with legislators and submits written and verbal testimony in support of priority legislation at state legislative hearings.
Under MA Chapter 3, Section 66 of the Massachusetts General Laws the MCSW is empowered to:
- Study, review and report on the status of women in the Commonwealth
- Advise executive and legislative bodies on the effect of proposed legislation on women
- Inform leaders of business, education, health care, state and local governments and the communications media of issues pertaining to women
- Provide referrals and serve as a resource of information on issues pertaining to women
- Identify and recommend qualified women for positions at all levels of government
- Promote and facilitate collaboration among local women's commissions and among women’s organizations in the state
- Serve as a liaison between government and private interest groups concerned with issues affecting women
Recent Legislative Accomplishments
We are pleased to announce that three priority bills were signed by Governor Deval Patrick in the 2011-2012 legislative session:
- An Act Relative to Housing Rights for Victims of Domestic Violence (S586/H386) was signed on January 3, 2013.
- An Act Relative to Gender Identity (H3810) was signed on November 23, 2011.
- An Act Relative to the Commercial Exploitation of People (H3808) was signed on November 21, 2011.
The Commission is continually working to build partnerships with other organizations invested in advancing the rights and opportunities of women. The organizations we collaborate with include but are not limited to: Women’s Bar Association, MASS AFL-CIO, The WAGE Project, Mass NOW, Boston Women’s Commission, Boston Mayor’s Women’s Workforce Council, American Association of University Women (AAUW), National Association of Commissions for Women (NACW), Business and Professional Women (BPW), and the YWCAs of Massachusetts.