Moving Indiana Women Forward - December 2013


Moving Indiana Women Forward - December 2013

Nominate an extraordinary woman for a 10th Anniversary Torchbearer Award

Please consider nominating an extraordinary woman from your area for a 10th Anniversary Torchbearer Award. The Indiana Commission for Women (ICW) has been honoring women who’ve made outstanding contributions to Indiana for ten years. These Torchbearers are the State of Indiana’s most prestigious recognition of women in Indiana. They are women who have broken down barriers to women’s full participation and have become lasting legacies for us all by overcoming immense challenges with courage, perseverance and compassion.

We all know an exceptional woman who goes above and beyond to make our communities better places for Indiana women and girls. A recipient need not be a corporate president or community leader to be honored. We are seeking to honor Indiana women who have:

  • Eliminated barriers,
  • Been pioneers in their industries, or
  • Overcome immense obstacles while making Indiana a better place to live, work and raise a family.

We need your help to find them! Recipients will be selected from a pool of nominated candidates who have overcome obstacles, made extraordinary contributions or been pioneers throughout their lives. Please visit to nominate an outstanding Indiana resident so that she can receive recognition at the annual Ceremony on March 5, 2014. 

And, here's some good news: We have extended the deadline date to January 10th. Completed nomination forms are due no later than January 10, 2014. 

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact Kristin Garvey, (317) 232-6720 or 

Status of Girls Cover

Status of Girls in Indiana report released

In September, Saint Mary’s College, a Catholic, women’s liberal arts college in Notre Dame, Indiana, released The Status of Girls in Indiana 2013 (SGI). A team of faculty and students compiled the 60-page report, which draws together publicly available statistics on Hoosier girls ages 10 to 19. The SGI report is topically arranged and covers demographics (income, race, housing, etc.), education (attendance, standardized test performance, graduation rates, etc.), and health (physical activity, diet, substance use, mental health, abuse, etc.). From all indications, it’s the first comprehensive study on the health and well-being of Indiana girls.

To download a copy of The Status of Girls in Indiana 2013 report, go to either: or ICW's Status of Women webpage:

50 years ago President’s Commission on the Status of Women released its findings

Fifty years ago, American Women: Report of the President’s Commission on the Status of Women was released on October 11, 1963. Two years prior, President John F. Kennedy established the President’s Commission on the Status of Women (PCSW) in 1961, and chose Eleanor Roosevelt to chair the Commission, in which she served until her death in 1962. Ester Peterson, Assistant Secretary of Labor and Director of the U.S. Women’s Bureau managed its research. The President’s Commission’s task was to evaluate and make recommendations to improve the legal, social, civic and economic status of American women.

According to Elizabeth Singer More, Harvard University, in her Report of the President’s Commission on the Status of Women: Background, Content, Significance, “Although it was characterized by internal tension between treating women primarily as homemakers and presenting them as equal participants in the public and economic realms, American Women nevertheless advocated major reforms. It called for an end to sex discrimination in hiring, for paid maternity leave and universal child care, and for judicial recognition of women’s equality under the Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution.”

Several movements grew from this effort. Of particular note, the 1963 report called for each state to form a similar commission to research conditions and make recommendations for change. By August 1963, several States had already established State Commissions on the Status of Women.

Ten years after the PCSW report, Governor Otis Bowen enabled the Governor’s Commission on the Status of Women in Indiana in 1973. During its tenure, it produced two important events. The first was the Intrastate Consortium of City Commissions of Women’s Affairs, a conference held in Indianapolis for all commissions dealing with women’s affairs in the State. This conference was the first in the nation of its kind. The second was a series of events referred to as public hearings, in which the commission traveled the state to hear residents’ accounts of discrimination, unfair treatment and restrictive official practices based on gender in employment, public service, education and civil rights.

The Commission was disbanded after the legislature did not appropriate funds. However, in 1996, Senators Becky Skillman and Vi Simpson co-sponsored legislation making the Indiana Commission for Women (ICW) a state entity after Governor Evan Bayh reestablished it through a 1992 executive order. The Indiana Commission for Women continues the work laid out in American Women. Our mission is to understand the needs of Indiana women and their families, and to work strategically both within government and in our communities to help bring about positive change.

Much like the Governor’s Commission did in 1973, ICW conducted Hoosier Women Speak, a series of listening sessions held around the state in 2011-2012 to understand women’s needs better. Discussion topics were grouped in overarching categories and then prioritized. The top five priority areas identified were: Health-related issues; Work-based issues; Care giving; Violence against women; and Leadership, on which ICW focuses is current efforts. 

For more information about Hoosier Women Speak, go to:  To learn more about the 1963 American Women report, go to:

Back to top

ICW receive Achievement Award for its Torchbearer Awards

The Indiana Commission for Women (ICW) was one of this year’s annual Achievement Award recipients at the National Association of Commissions for Women (NACW). 43nd annual conference and business meeting, held in San Jose, California in July 2013. The Achievement Award was received for ICW’s annual Torchbearer Awards, held every March during Women’s History Month.  The Torchbearer Awards was created in 2004 to honor and recognize the accomplishments of noteworthy Hoosier women whose achievements have contributed to make Indiana a better place in which to live, work and raise a family. Each recipient has overcome or removed barriers to equality and has served as an example for other Hoosiers to affect change. Recipients are women who have been pioneers in their industries, have inspirational stories that set the standard for other women, have faced tough choices, demonstrated character and have made significant contributions to their communities and/or to the State of Indiana.

Back to top

Upcoming Activities

The Indiana Commission for Women connects information, tools, resources, and opportunities that may be of interest to the women of Indiana. We generally pass on information from other sources through its social media outlets. Please join us on Facebook and Twitter to be alerted of opportunities and resources. Below are just a few activities happening around the state:

 Back to top

ICW Logo

About the Indiana Commission for Women

The Indiana Commission for Women is committed to the full participation of women in all aspects of society in order to live, work and raise a family. ICW works to move Indiana women forward by understanding the needs of Indiana women and their families and by working strategically both within government and in our communities to help bring about positive solutions. We act as the voice of women, communicating their needs and concerns as well as their successes and contributions, so that they can become better connected to their communities and to the tools, resources and opportunities needed to find their own voice.

 Back to top