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Strategic Goals and Policy Priorities

ICSW 2022 Strategic Goals and Policy Priorities

The Iowa Commission on the Status of Women (ICSW) is a seven-member, Governor-appointed body within the Iowa Department of Human Rights.  The ICSW has the following powers and duties:

  1. Study the opportunities for and changing needs of the women and girls of Iowa
  2. Serve as a liaison between the Department of Human Rights (DHR) and the public, sharing information and gathering constituency input
  3. Recommend to the DHR Board the adoption of rules as it deems necessary
  4. Recommend legislative and executive action to the Governor and General Assembly
  5. Establish advisory committees, work groups or other coalitions as appropriate 

The ICSW is instrumental in promoting the rights of women and girls, documenting the reality of women’s lives, and shaping forward looking policy and programing recommendations on gender equality and the empowerment of women.  The Commission adopts short- and long-term priorities to emphasize key areas for action, appraises progress and makes recommendations to accelerate gender equality in Iowa.  For the calendar year 2022, the Commission adopts the following priorities:

  • To celebrate the achievements of women and for women through the Iowa Women’s Hall of Fame and other opportunities;

  • To continue to gather and analyze qualitative information to inform future Commission work;

  • To support the Iowa Department of Human Rights’ initiatives related to civic engagement, communications and government access.

  • To measure Iowa’s progress in the following areas and communicate the results:

    • Ensuring pay equity

    • Increasing access to childcare and family support

    • Increasing access to paid family leave

    • Ensuring women are free from gender-based workplace discrimination

    • Ensuring women are free from sexual harassment and violence in the workplace

    • Ensuring women are supported in leadership positions and have access to training opportunities they need to succeed

    • Increasing access to mental health services and care; and

  • To assess the current and on-going impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on women and girls in the state and share this assessment.

The Commission strongly encourages government officials, legislators, policy makers and the public to regularly engage with the Commission, and particularly in its quarterly public meetings where the Commission offers:

  • High-level interactive dialogues to exchange experiences, lessons learned, and good practices from subject matter experts

  • Discussion on the status of gender equality, identifying progress and goals attained, achievements made, and efforts under way to close gaps and meet challenges

  • Discussion of emerging issues, trends, focus areas, and new approaches to questions affecting women

  • Gender perspectives important to the work of other governmental or non-governmental organizations

ICSW 2022 Commission Policy Recommendations

ICSW 2016-2019 Strategic Goals and Policy Priorities

  1. Enhance the statewide coordinated effort to advocate for the needs of women and girls
  2. Support and challenge women to reach their full potential and enhance Iowa’s future
    1. Ensure that women have greater opportunity for economic stability and career growth
      1. Increase childcare and family support at home and in the workplace
      2. Increase STEM opportunities for women
      3. Ensure pay equity/comparable worth
      4. Increase the number of women owned businesses
    2. Ensure that women experience increased safety and well-being
      1. Provide protective services for victims of assault and abuse
      2. Improve mental health care and make it accessible
      3. Improve access to health care and wellness care
  3. Ensure that staff and commissioners have access to adequate resources to meet goals

ICSW 2020 Commission Policy Recommendations