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The University of Iowa Libraries

Guide to the Iowa Commission on the Status of Women records

Collection Overview

Date Span: 1977-
Creator: Iowa Commission on the Status Of Women
Extent: 1.75 linear feet.
Collection Number: IWA0175
Repository: Iowa Women's Archives
Summary: The records include publications, legislative correspondence and the Write Women Back into History essays of middle and high school students in Iowa.

Access: The records are open for research.

Use: Copyright held by the donor has not been transferred to the University of Iowa.

Acquisition: The records (donor no. 254) were donated by the Iowa Commission on the Status of women in 1995 and succeeding years.

Preferred Citation: Iowa Commission on the Status of Women records, Iowa Women's Archives, The University of Iowa Libraries, Iowa City.

Repository: Iowa Women's Archives
Address: 100 Main Library
University of Iowa Libraries
Iowa City, IA 52242
Phone: 319-335-5068
Curator: Kären Mason

The Iowa legislature created the Iowa Commission on the Status of Women (ICSW) in 1972. The ICSW succeeded the earlier governors' commissions on the status of women appointed by Governor Harold Hughes (1964-1968) and Governor Robert Ray (1969-1971). The purpose of the ICSW is to advocate the interests of women in Iowa. To that end, the ICSW conducts studies, develops educational programs, recommends legislation, and provides information to the public on issues involving women in Iowa. The commission submits an annual report to the legislature and governor.

The ICSW sponsors an annual writing contest to promote women's history. Students in the sixth through ninth grades research and write about women who have made significant historical contributions. Teachers choose the best essay in their class for submission, and the ICSW chooses the statewide winners each year.

The Iowa Commission on the Status of Women records date from 1977 to the present and measure 1.75 linear feet. The records are arranged in three series: Publications, Legislative correspondence, and "Write Women Back into History" contest.

The Publications series includes brochures published by the ICSW about its history and mission, and on topics of interest to women such as sexual harassment in the workplace. In 1984, the ICSW conducted public hearings on the feminization of poverty in Iowa and produced a report of their findings, which is included in this series. It also includes a 1997 report summarizing the results of town meetings held across the state on the status of Iowa women. A comprehensive directory of women's organizations and a calendar featuring women who have made important contributions to Iowa complete the series.

The Legislative correspondence series includes memos, testimony, and letters written by ICSW staff members to various state and national legislators conveying their views on pending bills and issues.

The essays in the Write Women Back into History contest series are organized by year of submission. Within each year, they are organized alphabetically by the last name of the subject of each paper. The winning essays are in a separate folder at the beginning of each year. A subject analysis of all essays submitted is located in the Collections Analysis notebook in the IWA reading room.
Iowa Women's Hall of Fame records (IWA).
Governor Ray's Commission on the Status of Women records (IWA).

Browse by Series:

  • Series 1: PUBLICATIONS
  • Box 1:
  • Brochures
  • "The Feminization of Poverty Is This Happening In Iowa?" report - 1984
  • "Status of Iowa Women" town meeting report - 1997
  • Directory of Women's Organizations - 1977
  • Iowa Women in History calendar - 2004
  • Box 1:
  • Correspondence (2 folders) - 1985-2004
  • Box 2:
  • Winning Essays - 1998-1999
  • Winning Essays - 2000
  • Nominated Essays: A-F - 2000
  • Nominated Essays: G-L - 2000
  • Nominated Essays: M-R - 2000
  • Nominated Essays: S-Z - 2000
  • Winning Essays - 2001
  • Nominated Essays: A-C - 2001
  • Nominated Essays: D-H - 2001
  • Nominated Essays: I-M - 2001
  • Nominated Essays: N-Z - 2001
  • Box 3:
  • Winning Essays - 2002
  • Nominated Essays: A-G - 2002
  • Nominated Essays: H-N - 2002
  • Nominated Essays: O-Z - 2002
  • Winning Essays - 2003
  • Nominated Essays: A-F - 2003
  • Nominated Essays: G-L - 2003
  • Nominated Essays: M-R - 2003
  • Nominated Essays: S-Z - 2003
  • Winning Essays - 2004
  • Nominated Essays - 2004
  • Nominated Essays: A-H - 2004
  • Nominated Essays: J-O - 2004
  • Nominated Essays: P-Z - 2004
  • Winning Essays - 2005
  • Nominated Essays: A-P - 2005
  • Nominated Essays: R-Z - 2005
  • Box 4:
  • Winning essays - 2006
  • Nominated Essays: A-K - 2006
  • Nominated Essays: L-Z - 2006
  • Winning essays - 2007
  • Nominated Essays - 2007
  • Winning essays - 2008
  • Nominated Essays - 2008
  • Essays - 2009-2013
  • Essays - 2009-2013