COLUMBUS– State Rep. Emilia Strong Sykes (D-34) introduced legislation this week to reinstate the Ohio Women’s Policy and Research Commission (WPRC). The commission, if the bill is passed, would be tasked with identifying and addressing issues that impact women’s advancement. Including addressing health, economic, educational, and other inequities that women face today.
The WPRC was unanimously enacted in September of 1990 by the 118th General Assembly. The purpose was to remove barriers to women’s advancement and to promote gender equity. In June of 2001, the 124th General Assembly abolished the WPRC due to lack of funding.
"As we close out women’s history month, it’s necessary to remember that women are making history every day of the year and our state has a vested interest in ensuring that women succeed, said Sykes. “Reinstating the Women’s Policy and Research Commission will encourage women’s leadership, entrepreneurship, and quality of life in Ohio which will only make our state stronger and more prosperous."
The WRPC would be responsible for addressing gender inequality through research and data collection, public hearings, and print and online media releases. Some topics that the commission has the commission would focus on include, but are not limited to economic development for women, including business support, healthcare and maternal health, equal pay initiatives, and advocacy for women, such as Title IX support
H.B. 609 now awaits assignment to a House Committee has yet to be assigned.