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History of the Commission for Women Advisory Board

In 1961, President John F. Kennedy established the President’s Commission on the Status of Women. Eleanor Roosevelt was the chair and Esther Peterson of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Women’s Bureau was vice-chair.

Its 1963 landmark report recommended that each state form a similar commission. Today there are approximately 270 state, county and local commissions for women located in the United States and its territories.

These commissions are advocates for equality and justice for women and serve their communities in a variety of ways depending on the resources available. Many maintain shelters for the abused, others have tutorial programs for teens and illiterate adults, testify before their legislators on issues that impact women and their families, and disseminate information to their constituency.

Each commission functions independently, responding to the needs of its particular community and reporting to its own local government.

The Miami-Dade County Commission for Women, established in 1971, is one of the first women’s commissions in Florida. There are several other women’s commissions in Florida at the local and state level. Most of these women’s commissions are members of the National Association of Commissions for Women, based in Washington, DC.

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