Committees

Focus Areas

We meet monthly as a full Commission, and more frequently as committees to address a broad range of issues. These include: economic opportunity for women, women's health and disparities in health outcomes, violence against women, and the unique challenges of housing and homelessness women face in our community.

Our mission is to promote economic equity for all women in Seattle.
How we work: In order to make recommendations to City Councilmembers, the Mayor and City Departments with regards to economic equity for women, we gather information from primary source and community experts in a variety of areas that affect inequity like racial barriers, institutional barriers and access to childcare to name a few.  We partner with strong organizations in the community to make sure our work is accurate, relevant and impactful. 
Target Populations: We focus on the broader range of target populations the Commission has identified including female veterans, LGBTQ women, women with disabilities and particularly women of color who are disproportionately affected by inequity in our economic opportunities.
What have we done in 2014? It has been a strong year for addressing gender inequity in the City.  After a report filed by the National Partnership for Women & Families in 2013 that ranked Seattle the worst of the top 50 cities for the gender wage gap, the City decided to take its first step  in addressing this inequality by auditing its internal pay structures. The findings, released on July 15, showed that on average male City employees make 10% more than their female colleagues. Men also dominate both higher levels of executive and departments where wages run higher.  The City then launched the Gender Equity in Pay Task Force to come up with recommendations, which the Women's Commission contributed to along with other prominent stake holders.  The result is the newly launched Gender & Social Justice Initiative run through the Seattle Office of Civil Rights which is currently building upon the recommendations and legislation passed by the Mayor & City Council. 
The mission of the Health Disparities sub-committee is to identify and address on-going issues in the Seattle community that relate to disparities in health with a holistic perspective. We believe that a healthy community needs strong health services and equitable access to those services.  Currently we are focused on research, city policy and community practices that disproportionately affect the health and wellbeing of Seattle women including, single women, women with families, and women who identify as part of a minority community. 
How we work: In collaboration with community partners, we seek to address the social determinants of health, which may include:  access to healthy food; teen awareness of health; infant and maternal mortality; and access to affordable healthcare. We have also partnered with Seattle City Councilmembers and the Mayor's office to inform policy decisions related to women's health, and the health of their families. 
Target Populations: As a Commission, we have identified target populations for this year's workplan. Within the Health Disparities sub-committee, we have been working directly to address health issues affecting:  immigrants and refugees, women utilizing services such as Women Infant and Child (WIC), communities of color, young people, and the LGBT community. We are also interested in monitoring State legislation and city issues (i.e. The Washington State Health Exchange) important to women's health including breastfeeding disparity, support for the Reproductive Party Act, efficient outreach for individuals signing up for Medicaid and Medicare expansion, and support for mental health services and substance recovery. 
What have we done in 2014? Specifically, in the first quarter of 2014, we worked with Councilmember O'Brien to carry out a study on access to healthy food in the Delridge neighborhood, resulting in a report with policy recommendations for the city.  In coordination with the Immigrant and Refugee Commission, we also put together a short video that helps to answer important questions regarding the Affordable Care Act (ACA). We also met with several community organizations, such as Neighborhood House and UW Faculty, to learn more about priority issues such as:  barriers for low-income people of color to access community center's recreational programs, immigrant women's access to healthcare, and the latest research on adolescent health.
Our mission is to identify and address on-going issues in the Seattle community that relate to violence against women. 
How we work: We work collaboratively with community partners to keep informed on key issues and participate in community activities, and in turn work with Seattle City Councilmembers and the Mayor's office to inform policy decisions.
Target Populations: As a Commission, we have identified target populations for this year's workplan, and within the Violence Prevention sub-committee, we have been working directly to address issues affecting immigrants and refugees.
What have we done in 2014? Specifically, in the first quarter of 2014, we have remained engaged with the Seattle Police Department to address the issue of translation services for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault.
Our mission is to identify and address barriers to shelter, transitional and permanent housing and to support secure, affordable housing options for women and families in Seattle. 
How we work: We work collaboratively with community partners to keep informed on key issues and participate in community activities, and in turn work with Seattle City Councilmembers and the Mayor's office to inform policy decisions. 
Target Populations: Within the Housing & Homelessness sub-committee, we have been working directly to address issues affecting women who are particularly marginalized because of a previous criminal record, and immigrant and refugee women and families. 
What have we done in 2014? Specifically, in the first quarter of 2014, we have worked with members of the Council to support extending "ban the box" legislation to housing applications. We are also working collaboratively with other Commissions to support housing access for women, members of the LGBTQ community, and immigrants and refugees.

Focus Populations

Across each of these committees we also focus on several population groups who are disproportionately affected by disparities within the above focus areas. The Seattle Women's Commission will work closely with governmental and community-based organizations to make certain that women of color, women with disabilities, immigrants, refugees, returning female veterans, and members of the LGBTQ communities are being served appropriately by the Commission's work.

Focus Outreach

Coming soon
Coming soon