Legislatively created in May 1998, the MCSW was inspired by the United Nations’ Fourth World Conference on Women held in September 1995 in Beijing, China. The conference directed state governments to "form and adequately fund Women’s Commissions in all states and territories where they do not already exist." Massachusetts’ delegates at the Beijing Conference, including then Massachusetts First Lady Susan Roosevelt Weld, returned determined that we should have its own Women’s Commission. Ultimately, with the help of many, particularly state legislators, a unique and model Commission was created – with appointing authority shared by the Executive and Legislative branches. Ever since, our 19 volunteer commissioners, staff and interns have dedicated themselves to the promotion and protection of equality for women in all areas of their lives.