The Commission on the Status of Women (COSW), charged with advocating for and advancing the status of women and girls in the community since 1981, is looking for a new member.

There is one vacancy beginning on July 1. Those interested in serving on this voluntary commission must be residents of Santa Monica and committed to improving the status of women through advocacy, education, and related efforts. Meetings are held every second Wednesday at 7 p.m., and the public is invited to participate.

With a total of nine members, the COSW makes regular recommendations to the City Council and staff on programs and policies affecting women and girls. The COSW recently prepared a 2010-2015 Strategic Plan outlining the key priority areas commissioners should pursue over the next five years. Other publications include a 2004 Report on the Status of Women and Girls in Santa Monica that includes an analysis of selected demographic and social welfare indicators, including comparisons between women and men in Santa Monica.

Since December 2004 when the City Council unanimously voted to accept the Report, the COSW has used this tool to help them better advise the City Council about ways to support women and girls and address gender inequalities. In 2006, the COSW conducted a Work-Life Survey, in an effort to assess how different employment environments affect women’s lives and highlight Santa Monica employers who help enhance a positive work-life balance for women through various policies and practices.

Application forms and information are available at Santa Monica City Hall, 1685 Main St. You may request an application by mail by calling (310) 458-8211, or you may apply through City Hall’s website at Applications must be received in the City Clerk’s Office by noon, Monday, July 12, 2010 to be considered for this vacancy. Applications are also accepted on an ongoing basis for future vacancies. Only the candidates appointed will be notified.

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