Liberal Feminism

Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women

By: Michael Millett


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Overview


The Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women(MCSW), created legislatively in 1998, is an independent state agency formed to advance women of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to full equality in all areas of life and to promote their rights and opportunities. The Commission consists of 19 volunteer commissioners, who are appointed by one of four appointing authorities. The Governor, the Senate President, the Speaker of the House, and the Caucus of Women Legislators.(MCSW)

Mission Statement


The mission of the Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women is to provide a permanent, effective voice for women across Massachusetts. The Commission stands for fundamental freedoms, basic human rights and the full enjoyment of life for all women throughout their lives.(MSCW)

"Under MA Chapter 3, Section 66 of the Massachusetts General Laws the MCSW is empowered to:
• Study, review and report on the status of women in the Commonwealth
• Advise executive and legislative bodies on the effect of proposed legislation on women
• Inform leaders of business, education, health care, state and local governments and the communications media of issues pertaining to women
• Provide referrals and serve as a resource of information on issues pertaining to women;
• Identify and recommend qualified women for positions at all levels of government
• Promote and facilitate collaboration among local women's commissions and among women’s organizations in the state
• Serve as a liaison between government and private interest groups concerned with issues affecting women" (MSCW)

Liberal Feminism


What do liberal feminists and MCSW reach to accomplish?

Demonstrate how women have been discriminated against

MCSW prides itself on having a voice for women. The Commission has a monthly MCSW Newsletter called The Status Report. They also publish Fiscal Annual reports that show progress and issues that were accounted for in that fiscal year. MCSW also gets people together for speeches and other conventions regarding how, why, and what can be done in the issue of women being discriminated against.

Educational and legal reforms based upon gender neutrality

The Commission recognizes the need for women to have an equal share, and to be equal participants, in the areas of economics, health-care, civil rights, education and business development. The Commission also believes that pro-active policies must be taken to protect women and children from human trafficking and domestic abuse. The Massachusetts Commission on The Status of Women’s Legislative and Public Policy Committee endorses and tracks legislation to achieve these goals.

Professional career advancements for women; help to equalize wages & open professions and jobs up to women that had previously been closed

MCSW focuses on Pay Equity on it's website and by producing reports on their research and findings. If you are interested you can check out http://www.mass.gov/women/payequity/payequity.pdf which is a study on the reality of the wage gap in Massachusetts."The Legislative Committee has made promoting bills to advance pay equity in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts its top priority for the 2009-2010 legislative sessions". (MCSM) On their website they promote two useful links. The first link is to contact your representative to support a bill and this directs you to: http://www.wheredoivotema.com/bal/myelectioninfo.php. The second link directs you to http://www.mass.gov/women/legislation/Bills.pdf which presents a summary of each bill and current status of the bills that the Commission is following.

Improve quality of life for women

The sole purpose of MCSW is to improve quality of life for women. These individuals rally together to pass legislation, educate the public, push towards reform, and advance the professional careers of women.
(Prof. McHenry, Blackboard Learning Module)

In conclusion, I believe the Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women(MCSW) aligned with theories of liberal feminism has and will have a lasting impact on Massachusetts women pursuing full equality in all areas of life.

For more information or if you are looking to connect with the Commission please check out their facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/MassCSW or address a letter/email to:

Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women
The Charles F. Hurley Building, 19 Staniford St. 6th Fl. Boston, MA 02114-2502

Phone: 617-626-6520, TTY: 711-617-626-6520, Fax: 617-626-6530
Email: mcsw@state.ma.us


Works Cited

Budson, Victoria. "Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women." Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women. 2011. Web. 24 July 2012. <http://www.mass.gov/women>.

Lorber, Judith. Gender Inequality: Feminist Theories and Politics. New York: Oxford UP, 2012. Print.

"Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women - Boston, MA - Government Agency | Facebook." Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women - Boston, MA - Government Agency | Facebook. MA Government, 2012. Web. 25 July 2012. <http://www.facebook.com/MassCSW>.