San Diego revives Commission on the Status of Women to address women's needs
Mayor Todd Gloria on Thursday announced the city was reviving the Commission on the Status of Women, a long-inactive commission focusing on the needs of women and recommending programs intended to fix gender inequality.
"Ensuring that all San Diegans have access to opportunity throughout their lives and are supported in their efforts to realize their full potential is a key priority of my administration," Gloria said. "It's long past time we revive this commission to ensure the city is supporting women's long march toward equality."
Gloria was joined at his announcement Thursday by all the women on the City Council: Council President pro Tem Monica Montgomery Steppe and Councilwomen Marni von Wilpert, Vivian Moreno and Jen Campbell, as well as Felicia Shaw, executive director of the Women's Museum of California.
"It is imperative that we reintroduce this commission to focus on the critical, impactful issues affecting women, including health, public safety and workforce representation," said Montgomery Steppe. "We can begin improving the quality of life for women by addressing the intersectionalities of their struggles to help us attain equity and thrive in our communities."
First established in 1973 as the "Advisory Board on the Status of Women" and subsequently revived and renamed in 1991, the commission has been inactive with the last of expiring terms ending in 2001.
"My hope is that the next generation of girls will not have to fight for equal pay for equal work," Campbell said. "That they will live in a world that equally values their contributions in our society and they receive the recognition and respect that they deserve."
"Re-establishing the Commission on the Status of Women is a great first step to ensure a more equitable future for San Diego's women," she said. "Until we achieve true equity for women in our country, it's up to leaders at every level of government to act and I am proud that we as a city are re-committing to achieving gender equity here at home."
San Diego City Councilmember Vivian Moreno acknowledged the importance of this commission being reborn during Women’s history month. She told a personal story of why the commission is needed.
"When I was running for office back in 2018, I walked 8,000 doors to get elected. One of those doors that I knocked on, a man told me, ‘But can a woman be a city council member?’, guess what? A woman can be a city council member and she can do it pregnant too," said Moreno as she showed off her baby bump.
And one woman in particular was top of mind during this announcement, Supreme Court nominee, Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson.
"Watching her as an African American woman I’m just so proud to see where she is today but she stands on the shoulders of a lot of women who have gone before her trying to open doors and that’s what we want to do," said Felicia Shaw, the executive director of the Women's Museum of California. "I think the commission should try to open more doors for all women."
The commission was created to advise the mayor, City Council and other agencies of city government on the needs of women in the San Diego area.