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County of Sonoma, California

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Commission on the Status of Women

The Sonoma County Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) was established in 1975 to promote equal rights and opportunities that enhance the quality of life for all women and girls and to address issues of discrimination and prejudice that negatively affect women in Sonoma County.

The Commission operates under the Equal Employment Opportunity Division of the County’s Human Resources Department. For more information refer to the resources provided below or contact the Commission’s office.

Our latest endeavor is the development of a Women’s Coalition of organizations here in Sonoma County. We are proud to roll-out a new program within the Commission of the Status of Women that will reach our women by being in support of some of their needs through a Resource for Women and Girls.

Commission Events

One Billion Rising One in three women and girls worldwide will be a victim of rape or violence in their lifetimes. Our community is not immune. The County of Sonoma Commission on the Status of Women is organizing a special local event as part of the global movement, One Billion Rising that seeks to end violence against women.  Filled with powerful stories, movement and dance by local performers, lively and moving music, and speeches from visible members of our community who wish to rise up with us, this event will be a celebration of women’s empowerment through our collective voices – raising the consciousness of humanity, and forcing a global shift in the damaging paradigm that exists today.  We hope you’ll join us on Saturday, February 14, 2015 at 3.00PM. This event is free to the public. Friedman Event Center, 4676 Mayette Avenue, Santa Rosa.

Women Creating A Better Tomorrow, Sunday, November 9, 2014 (PDF: 192 kB) – Historically, the commission has recognized, and presented awards to, three outstanding women each year for making a positive difference in the quality of life for women in Sonoma County.  This year, with the goal of aligning with the County’s Health Action goals and the idea of “working together for a healthy Sonoma County,” the commission is celebrating the work of three exceptional women who are endeavoring to create a better community for all.  Please join our keynote speaker, Socorro Shiels-Superintendent of the Santa Rosa City Schools and the Commission on the Status of Women in recognizing the efforts of this year’s honorees:

  • Marie De Santis-Executive Director of the Women’s Justice Center
  • Carol Rathmann-Executive Director of Forget Me Not Farm
  • Edie Sussman-Edie Sussman Law Office

This is a tax deductible event.  100% of the ticket sales funds the Commission on the Status of Women Scholarship at the Santa Rosa Junior College.  For tickets, contact Tracy Cunha-Deputy Clerk at (707) 565-2821, or go to

Women Creating A Better Tomorrow, ADA Accessible information (PDF: 192 kB)

Women’s History Month Events

When and Where does the Commission Meet?

The Commission holds its regular meeting on the 2nd Thursday of each month, beginning at 6:00 PM.

Please call for meeting location.

What are the Commission’s Goals, Projects and Activities?

The Commission’s Work Plan describes the current projects and objectives. If you have questions about the Commission’s projects, please contact us at:

Commission on the Status of Women (CSW)
(707) 565-2693 Work

Commission Projects

  • Junior Commission
  • Women’s History Month
  • Representation Events

Past Commission Sponsored Events

Historically speaking, what was the Status of Women in Sonoma County back in 2007?

The Commission released the Report on the Status of Women in Sonoma County – 2007, the culmination of the Commission’s work for the 2005 – 6 and 2006 – 2007 biennium. The Report’s conclusions were based on statistical data as well as widespread input from the public, community organizations and public agencies:

How does the Commission Support Youth Interested in Women’s Issues?

The Junior Commissioner Project, a nationally recognized, ground-breaking program helps develop and mentor youth for leadership roles by giving them the opportunity to participate in advocacy, while developing their communication and presentation skills, and educating their school-aged peers about important issues and encouraging them to make a positive impact on their communities.

Each year eight to twelve youth are selected to serve as Junior Commissioners for a one-year term that runs concurrent with the academic year.
Applications will be accepted through May 15, 2015 for the Junior Commissioner Project term that begins September 9, 2015. The Junior Commission is open to all Sonoma County teenagers between 14 and 18 years of age. The program is overseen and sponsored by members of the adult Commission. Please see the:

Selected candidates will be notified for interviews by May 18, 2015.  Interviews will take place the last two weeks of May and the first week of June.

How is the Commission Organized?

The Commission is comprised of 15 members; 3 from each supervisorial district. The Commission’s structure of Liaisons, Coordinators, and Ad Hoc Committees allows it work effectively in accomplishing its goals.

Who is on the Commission?

The Roster is the current listing of Commissioners. There are currently openings in every district. The Commission encourages women who want to make a difference in their community to apply.

How Can I Get Involved with the Commission?

First, we recommend that you attend one of the Commission’s monthly meetings. Additional information and applications are provided below.

  • Commissioners are appointed by their respective Supervisor and serve for a 2-year term. Commissioners are expected to attend monthly Commission meetings and work on at least one Commission project.
    • Role of a Commissioner:Description of the roles and responsibilities for serving as on the Commission on the Status of Women.
    • Commissioner Application: Commissioners are appointed by their respective Supervisor (3 to each district) and serve for a 2-year term. The application form is available at the Board of Supervisors Web site.
  • Volunteers are members of the public who work with the Commission by serving on one of Commission’s project work groups, and/or helping with a special event. For more information about volunteering, please contact Commission’s office.

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