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Mission About OCSW History Vision Legislative Authority

 

Mission Statement
The Mission of the Oklahoma Commission on the Status of Women  is “to improve the quality of life for women and families in Oklahoma.”
About OCSW

The Oklahoma Legislature created the Oklahoma Commission on the Status of Women in 1994 to act as an advisory entity on equity issues relating to gender bias; monitor legislation to determine whether it is discriminatory toward one gender or the other; act as a resource and a clearinghouse for research on issues related to women and gender bias; report annually to the Governor, President Pro Tempore of the Senate, and Speaker of the House of Representatives regarding its activities; and make recommendations concerning needed legislation or regulatory changes relating to equity and gender bias.

The Commission consists of thirty (30) members who serve staggered five-year terms; ten members are appointed by the Governor, ten by the President Pro Tempore, and ten by the Speaker.

On July 1, 2002, the Oklahoma Legislature transferred the responsibility for providing staff support for the Commission from the Secretary of State to the Office of Personnel Management. 2011 meeting date information may be accessed on the Secretary of State web site.

History

In 1962, President John F. Kennedy created the President’s Council on the Status of Women with Eleanor Roosevelt as its first Chairman.  The report issued by that Council encouraged each state to create a similar organization to look at current legal status, potential problems of gender bias and key quality of life issues facing women and families.

Governor Henry Bellmon established the first Governor’s Commission on the Status of Women during his first term as Governor in 1965.  Each Governor thereafter established either a Committee or a Commission by Executive Order and appointed a group of individuals to serve.  By choice of each Governor, the Commission ranged from 20 to 90 members.

Several problems were associated with not having a permanent Commission in place. Each Commission started again new with apparently little continuity of programming or issue concentration; it took several months before the Commissions were able to start developing a plan for action; there was no transfer of documentation between Commissions; and there were no long range plans developed to address the problems facing Oklahoma women and families.  Those Commissions were never funded by the State of Oklahoma.  Any support for their activities was provided by the Governor’s office and on a limited basis.

The new permanent Oklahoma Commission on the Status of Women was created by SB1147 in 1994 to replace the Governor’s Commission and establish permanent status. With the help of Governor David Walters, Speaker Glen Johnson and Senate President Pro Tempore-, Bob Cullison, Senator Angela Monson, and Representative Laura Boyd were able to establish the Oklahoma Commission on the Status of Women by state statute. The appointments are now made by the Governor, Senate President Pro Tempore, and Speaker of the House and consist of 30 members appointed for five-year terms. The initial appointment terms were staggered. By statue, the terms will end on June 30th of each year. 
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Vision - As Approved May 27, 2010

In the year 2010, the Oklahoma Commission on the Status of Women is a strong, recognized and respected voice for the women of Oklahoma.

  1. The Commission works closely with the Oklahoma Legislative, Executive, and Judicial branches (OLEJ) to:
    • Educate OLEJ branches on the importance of supporting programs to improve the quality of life for women and families in Oklahoma;
    • Request Interim Studies to research possible legislative action, build consensus and public support on issues;
    • Formulate, support, and/or endorse certain legislation which would benefit women and families;
    • Receive adequate funding from the State to support the work of the Commission;
    • Ensure that enacted or revised legislation does not disproportionately or adversely affect women;
    • Ensure inequality does not impede individuals from reaching their full potential.
  1. The Commission provides leadership and direction for actions to support Oklahoma women by:
    • Acting as a focal point for other agencies and communities to provide resource information, expertise and input on issues;
    • Routinely communicating with all relevant constituencies on key issues for women;
    • Participating with other groups and in coalitions to support educating the public on issues of importance to women and families.
  1. The Commission acts as a voice for the women of Oklahoma by:
    • Maintaining a strong, viable Advisory Council of leaders across the state;
    • Coordinating an Oklahoma Women’s Summit every two years to develop recommendations on specific actions;
    • Annually recognizing OLEJ individuals who have made significant contributions to women and families;
    • Coordinating the Oklahoma Women’s Hall of Fame activities.

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Legislative Authority

Title 74, Sections 665-669
of the
Oklahoma Statutes

§74-665

In furtherance of its obligation to advance the general welfare of the state, the Legislature is cognizant of its duty to give all citizens their opportunities to reach their full potential. Therefore, the Legislature declares its intent that any inhibiting conditions caused by any factors which impede the ability of an individual to reach the full potential of that individual are matters of public concern.

§74-666

There is hereby created the Oklahoma Commission on the Status of Women. The Commission shall consist of thirty (30) members. No later than August 1, 1994, the members shall be appointed as follows: two members appointed by the Governor, two members appointed by the President Pro Tempore of the Senate and two members appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives for a term ending June 30, 1995; two members appointed by the Governor, two members appointed by the President Pro Tempore of the Senate and two members appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives for a term ending June 30, 1996; two members appointed by the Governor, two members appointed by the President Pro Tempore of the Senate and two members appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives for a term ending June 30, 1997; two members appointed by the Governor, two members appointed by the President Pro Tempore of the Senate and two members appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives for a term ending June 30, 1998; and two members appointed by the Governor, two members appointed by the President Pro Tempore of the Senate and two members appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives for a term ending June 30, 1999. As the terms of office of such appointees expire, their successors shall be appointed by the appropriate appointing authority for a term of five (5) years. In making such appointments to the Commission, consideration shall be given to making the membership broadly representative of the geographic areas of the state and the several racial, religious and ethnic groups residing in the state. Each member shall hold office until the successor of the member is appointed and has qualified. A member of the Commission may be removed by the appropriate appointing authority for cause. A member appointed to fill a vacancy occurring before the expiration of a term of a member separated from the Commission for any cause shall be appointed for the remainder of the term of the member whose office has been so vacated. Members of the Commission shall receive no salary, but shall be entitled to travel reimbursement as provided by the State Travel Reimbursement Act, Section 500.1 et seq. of this title, from funds available to the appropriate appointing authority.

§74-667

Initially, the President Pro Tempore of the Senate shall name the chair of the Oklahoma Commission on the Status of Women and the Speaker of the House of Representatives shall name the vice-chair. Any other officers deemed necessary shall be elected from among the members at the first meeting of the Commission. Thereafter, at the first meeting of each fiscal year, the Commission shall elect a chair, a vice-chair and such other officers deemed necessary to conduct the business of the Commission from among its members. The Commission shall meet at least once every three (3) months and at such other times as called by the chair or by a majority of the Commission.

§74-668

Repealed by Laws 2002, HB 2473, c. 491, § 7, emerg. eff. July 1, 2002.

 §74-669

The Oklahoma Commission on the Status of Women shall have the power and the duty to:

1. Act as an advisory entity on equity issues relating to gender bias not only to state agencies and employees, but to communities, organizations and businesses of this state which desire the services of the Commission;

2. Act as a monitor on legislation as to whether the legislation is discriminatory toward one gender or the other or whether the gender of an individual would have an effect on the enforcement of the legislation;

3. Act as a resource and a clearinghouse for research on issues related to women and gender bias;

4. Conduct meetings and seminars within the state as appropriate to support the goals and duties of the Commission; and

5. Make an annual report to the Governor, the President Pro Tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives of its activities under this act. Such recommendations may include recommendations concerning needed legislation or regulatory changes relating to equity and gender bias.
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Last Modified on 09/17/2013