When a 1984 Iowa law requiring gender equity on state government’s appointive boards and commissions went into effect, women occupied only 14% of the seats at the table. Today, women’s voices and experiences are contributing to the state’s public policy process; 49% of those volunteer governance slots are filled by women.
Now, Iowa’s counties and cities are charged with bringing gender equity to local decision making.
On January 1, 2012, a new law went into effect that requires “all political subdivisions of the state” to be gender balanced in their appointments to municipal commissions, committees, boards and councils. As Iowa communities work to include qualified women in these decision-making and leadership positions, the Iowa Commission on the Status of Women is connecting local governments with women interested in appointments.
Some municipalities have had no formal application process. Some report difficulty finding local women willing to serve—even though women in Iowa volunteer at significantly higher rates than men.
That’s why Friends of ICSW and the Iowa Commission on the Status of Women, a champion of the 2009 legislation, is identifying women whose capabilities match local requirements for service. We are assisting local governments in how to fill available seats with female community leaders.
The Friends of ICSW is partnering with the Carrie Chapman Catt Center for Women and Politics at Iowa State University to determine the current status of women on local boards and commissions. To view current reports, please click on the links below:
COUNTIES AS OF AUGUST, 2013 (95 counties reported)
CITIES AS OF AUGUST, 2013 (178 cities reported)