About the Commission for Women
Upon completion of a 1974 study on the status of women, the Alexandria City Council established the Commission for Women in order to eliminate gender discrimination and to encourage equal opportunity for women in all aspects of their lives. Today, the Commission's members continue to provide advice and consultation to City Council on issues concerning women.
Commission for Women Bylaws (Amended October 2016)
For more information or to join an Alexandria Board or Commission, contact the Alexandria Clerk of the Council at 703.746.3975. To contact the Commission for Women, send an email.
Commission for Women Meetings
The Commission for Women is composed of 15 volunteers, appointed by City Council, and an Executive Director from City staff. The Commission meets the second Tuesday of every month, from September through June, at 7 p.m. in room 2000 at City Hall. All Commission meetings are open to the public. Residents are welcome to attend meetings.
Commission sub-committees include data collection and assessment, events and programs, and public policy and advocacy.
Commission for Women Initiatives
Commission efforts are largely centered on:
(1) Supporting existing City programs that focus on women, specifically:Domestic Violence Program (DVP), Sexual Assault Program (SAP), Alexandria Campaign on Adolescent Pregnancy (ACAP).
(2) Providing guidance and advice to the City on relevant legislation and public policy issues.
(4) The preservation and promotion of women’s history in Alexandria through the Women’s History Tour and related projects.
In addition, the Commission stays active on affairs within the city. Commissioners learn about and provide insight on local issues by attending Council meetings, hearings and symposia, inviting speakers to Commission meetings, and attending educational and civic programs within the City and around the region. In FY 2014, the Commission celebrated the 40th Anniversary of the formation of the Commission on the Status on Women in 1974 at the 34th Annual Salute to Women Awards Ceremony.
Commission for Women Events and Contributions
Through its non-profit arm, the Friends of the Commission for Women, the Commission also assists with an annual fundraiser whose proceeds are designated for a specific program or area of need each year, and a winter Women's Holiday Art Market showcasing the work of local women artists.
Other activities throughout the year include:
- Domestic Violence Awareness month activities in October
- Outreach at the Old Town Alexandria Farmer's Market
- Celebrating International Women's Day
- Contributing time and resources to support various events such as the Shelter's "grocery store" fundraisers and the Domestic Violence Children's Holiday Party. Proceeds of the event will benefit programs supported by the Friends of the Commission for Women and the Alexandria Commission for Women to include programs and initiatives that benefit women and girls in Alexandria.
- The 2014 Operation Elf is a program of the Alexandria Detention Center for the children of incarcerated parents. During the Operation Elf event, the children, at the request of an incarcerated parent, are given small gifts and/or gift cards to celebrate the holiday season. The purpose of the program is to keep families connected during the holidays and to encourage a smoother transition upon their release. Donations of store gift cards of $25 or less would be great.
- Increasing awareness of the significant contributions women have made throughout Alexandria's history
There are many opportunities to volunteer for the Commission for Women including:
- Supporting the Vola Lawson Memorial Fund to Fight Breast Cancer
- Art Party (soliciting artists, event planning and event staffing on the day of the event)
- Children's Holiday Party (children’s gift donations)
- Salute to Women (soliciting sponsorship and donations, event planning and event staffing on the day of the event)
- Take our Daughter and Sons to Work Day (soliciting business tours, serving as a tour guide and event staff on the day of the event)
- Serving as a tour guide for our Women’s History Tour
- Serving as a volunteer on the Friends of the Commission for women
To learn more about volunteer opportunities please email your contact information, interests and availability to the Commission.
Resources and Related Links
- The Advisory Network
- Distinguished Women of Past & Present
- Esteemed Women Foundation
- Feminist Majority Foundation
- National Organization for Women
- National Women's History Project
- The Women's Center
- The Office of Aging and Adult Services
- Violence Against Women Office, US Department of Justice
- Women's Business Center of Northern Virginia
- Women's Health Virginia