Last October, Governor Wolf appointed twenty-six powerhouse women from across the commonwealth to serve on the Pennsylvania Commission for Women. These women come from various backgrounds – from business to government to non-profit to academia – and each brings a different set of experience and perspective. But the one thing that we all have in common is a passion to help Pennsylvania’s women and girls succeed in all facets of life.
That’s why, immediately after being sworn in, we hit the ground running and teamed up with the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape and Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education to hold our first official event, which was a screening of the documentary “The Hunting Ground.” More than 30 colleges and universities joined us at the Governor’s Residence to view the film and participate in a panel discussion focused on sexual assault in schools and on campuses.
Since then, our Commissioners have been working to coordinate similar screenings at colleges across the commonwealth to continue to raise awareness on this issue, and find ways to prevent and address this growing epidemic.
In January, we were proud to stand with Governor Wolf as he launched “It’s On Us PA,” the first statewide campaign to address the crisis of sexual assault in schools and on college campuses. Building on the national “It’s On Us” movement launched by President Obama and Vice President Biden in 2014, “It’s On Us PA” engages education leaders from school superintendents to college presidents as well as students, teachers, families, and communities to make a personal and public pledge to play a role in preventing, addressing, and responding to sexual violence. In just six weeks, over 330 people from more than 150 Pennsylvania schools have already taken the pledge!
And campus sexual assault is just the beginning. The Commission for Women is also busy building partnerships and looking at ways to encourage more women to get involved in government and public service, increase self-esteem among girls and teach girls about technology, coding and other STEM-related fields. We are also looking at ways to highlight and encourage women in non-traditional fields, such as veterans (more on that to come!).
I am proud to be part of this amazing group and am excited for all that we will accomplish with the Wolf Administration on behalf of Pennsylvania’s women and girls. Stay tuned for more – and, in the meantime, check out our website here.
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