1976-Women’s Commission Opens
The Women’s Commission was established by Tucson City Council ordinance on December 8, 1975, after a year of work by a coalition of community women. Its mandate was to “expose, eliminate and prevent discrimination against women and to assist women in attaining full equality of opportunity in all aspects of life.” The first meeting as a commission was held in spring 1976. In 1992, the City of Tucson and Pima County expanded the Women’s Commission to become a joint city/county commission.
The Women’s Commission is specifically empowered to represent the rights and needs of the women of Tucson and Pima County, to investigate women’s issues, to conduct hearings, to compile reports and to make recommendations to the mayor and City Council and to the Pima County Board of Supervisors. The Women’s Commission is established as an official agency to promote equal opportunity in all aspects of life. More than 200 women and men of diverse backgrounds have served as commissioners since the inception of the Women’s Commission.
History of Commission Accomplishments Include:
- Supported the birth of the Black Women’s Task Force
- Publication of Tucson Sourcebook on Sexual Assault
- Formation of Association of Women in the Trades, with Apprenticeship Focus
- Formation of Affiliation of Native American Women
- Held public hearings, public forums, and created reports on issues affecting women, including health care availability, reproductive health rights, teenage pregnancy, domestic violence, sexism in the media, sex equity in employment and training, displaced homemakers, daycare funding, gender politics, reproductive rights, job search skills, comparable worth, sexual harassment, maternity leave, sexual assault, discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and age discrimination
- Held Women’s Equality Celebrations on anniversary of women getting right to vote
- Publication of the Clarion newspaper
- Affirmative action skill training program for minority women
- Educational series on Women in History
- Native American Leadership Program
- Provided office space to Wingspan in its early days
- Created directory of women-owned businesses
- Youth Commissioner Leadership Development
- Provided seed money for Tucson Women’s Foundation
- Developed programs for women incarcerated at county jail
- Operated many task forces that focused on problems such as violence against women, women and poverty, older women’s needs, women and the workforce, leadership training, lesbian issues, civil rights, immigrant rights
- Secured gift of Historic Royal Johnson House from City of Tucson as a permanent home for the commission
- Administer ongoing grant and donation-funded rehabilitation of our historical building
- Skills for Women Program
- Publication of Domestic Violence Survivor’s Guide
- Pay Equity Initiative, Pay Equity Business Awards, Annual Equal Pay Day Luncheon
- Positive Aging for Women Conferences
- Speak Out Conferences for Young Women
This list only covers a portion of the work and accomplishments of the Women’s Commission over its 30-year history. The commission advocates for women on personal, organizational and policy levels through community awareness and social action. It provides education, resource information and outreach services, including young women’s leadership training, violence prevention presentations, community collaboration and workplace discrimination advocacy.
The Women’s Commission continues to work on issues that affect women with the goal of achieving equality of opportunity for women in all walks of life. We invite you to join with us in this work to eliminate discrimination toward women and improve the status of women in our community of Tucson and Pima County. Let us continue to work together to stand up for women’s rights now and for generations to come!
• 1980-Established City Ordinance – City of Tucson
• 1986-Established County Ordinance – Pima County
• 1988-Established 501(c)3