Monday, June 30th, I’ll have my first meeting as a Commissioner on the California Commission on the Status of Women and Girls. As I take on this new role one thought that continues to play over-and-over in my mind are the words of wisdom Alan Alda, the acclaimed actor, said to his daughter when he was asked to deliver the commencement speech at her college graduation. He said, “There are little girls being born right now who may not have the same rights you do when they grow up unless you do something to maintain and extend the range of equality for women.” - This is my charge.
As a commissioner it is my charge to advocate on behalf of women and girls, and to work with the Governor and Legislature to ensure that the issues affecting us, like economic inequity and challenges to accessing reproductive health care, are lifted up in policy making decisions.
When I consider the fact that women make up over 50% of the state’s population, but, occupy only 26% of the seats in the state assembly and senate combined, the significance of the Commission as an advocacy arm working on behalf of women and girls cannot be understated.
Seventy-two years lapsed between the Seneca Falls Convention and women securing the right to vote. Of the original participants, only one lived long enough to cast her vote. I am convinced these women moved forward with this agenda fully aware they were fighting for a right they may never be able to exercise for themselves, yet emboldened by a commitment to securing this right for the next generation of women and girls.
As a commissioner I consider it my charge to continue their legacy of fighting for women’s rights for the women and girls of this state, and for future generations to come.
Commissioner Alisha Wilkins
CA Commission on the Status of Women and Girls
The Commission on the Status of Women and Girls, a nonpartisan state agency, works in a culturally inclusive manner to promote equality and justice for all women and girls by advocating on their behalf with the Governor, the Legislature and other public policymakers, and by educating the public in the areas of economic equity including educational equity, access to health care including reproductive choice, violence against women and other key issue areas identified by the Commission as significantly affecting women and girls.