The mission of the Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women (MCSW) is to advance women toward full equality in all areas of life and to promote rights and opportunities for all women. The Commission exists 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.

Our History

The Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women was inspired by the United Nations’ Fourth World Conference on Women held in Beijing, China in September 1995. The conference directed state governments to “form and adequately fund Women’s Commissions in all states and territories where they do not already exist.” Massachusetts’ delegates at the Beijing Conference including then Massachusetts First Lady Susan Roosevelt Weld, returned determined that the Commonwealth of Massachusetts should have its own Women’s Commission.

With the help of many including state legislators, a unique and model Commission was created in May 1998 with appointing authority shared by the Executive and Legislative branches. Since conception, our 19 volunteer commissioners, staff and interns have dedicated themselves to the promotion and protection of equality for women in all areas of their lives.