Mission / History / Bylaws
The Commission for Women promotes the well-being and equal status of women in Santa Barbara County. The Commission will advise the Board in critical areas affecting women, especially women who have the greatest need. To accomplish this purpose, the Commission may collaborate with other commissions and community groups; facilitate, recognize, and recommend programs; gather and disseminate information, hold public hearings, advise the board, and take other action to accomplish its purpose.
The Santa Barbara County Commission for Women is an appointed advisory body tasked with advising the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors on public policies that aim to bolster women's access to equitable health care, affordable and quality child care, economic and workplace advancement opportunities to close the gender wage gap, and to support survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence and human trafficking.
The following is a snapshot of some of the recognized disparities many women in Santa Barbara County currently face: Women comprise 39% of the workforce, but earn $0.81 for every dollar their male counterparts earn; women are more likely than their male counterparts to live in poverty; and while cases of domestic violence and human trafficking are lower in Santa Barbara County than across the state, much more can be done to aid survivors and punish the perpetrators of violence against women.
As we move forward in the new year, we affirm our commitment to achieving women's parity and equity at all levels of leadership. Regardless of a woman's race, ethnicity, religion, immigration status, sexual identity, gender expression, economic status, age or disability, all women have the right to live in our community free from assault, harassment, and discrimination. We will expect our elected leaders to act to protect the rights of women, their families and their communities. We expect that women's safety, health, and families will be protected because we recognize that women's contributions to society are key strengths that benefit all sectors of our community. We, therefore, will work diligently to assist our elected leaders to protect the rights and interests of women as evidence of their commitment to our true democratic values and core principles.
The Santa Barbara County Commission for Women is a fifteen member advisory board to the County Board of Supervisors. The Commission was formed in 1973, and has been actively working to better the community since that date. The purpose of the Commission is to review, analyze, report and make recommendations to the Board of Supervisors, and to educate and inform the general public on issues affecting women. Our goal is to promote equal rights and opportunities for all women in Santa Barbara County.
Members of the Commission are appointed by the Board of Supervisors, and serve for up to two consecutive three year terms. There are three appointed members from each supervisorial district. Officers of the Commission include: the Chair and Vice-Chair. The Commission meets monthly, on the first Wednesday of each month, in Buellton, CA. The public is invited to attend and participate.
The Commissioners takes a pro-active role in affecting a change for the betterment of/ in the lives of Santa Barbara County residents. Highlights of the Commission's past activities and programs include: the formation of a Women's Shelter and other services for battered women and children; participation in a conference on Displaced Homemakers; a Survey on the Quality of Life for Women and Children in Santa Barbara resulting in child care hearings which eventually led to a County child care center; teen mentoring pilot project with women in non-traditional jobs presented at the National Commission for Women Conference; instrumental in the formation of the Children's Commission (First 5, Children & Families Commission) and provided input in the Policy of Children, Youth and Families; federal and state legislative advocacy; breast cancer warning posters distributed County-wide in English and Spanish; a Sexual Harassment Survey of County employees; Commission for Women Resource Guide, the annual celebrations of Women's History Month, annual recognition of Young Teen Women of the Year, and the annual Service Awards.
Click here for a PDF format bylaws.