Women's Commission Overlaps Other State Programs

Performance Evaluation and Research Division
Building 1, Room W-314
State Capitol Complex

(304) 347-4890

January 1999

ISSUE 1: The Women's Commission Significantly Overlaps Other Programs That Address Women's Issues, and It has been Ineffective in Improving the Status of Women

The Women's Commission is an agency of state government, created by the Legislature in 1977 to advocate and educate on issues relating to women. The West Virginia Women's Commission is an office within the Department of Health and Human Resources. According to WV Code §29-20-1, the commission consists of 18 members, of which seven are ex-officio non-voting members. The 11 voting members are appointed by the Governor. The Commission staff consists of a full-time executive director, an office manager, and a shared position consisting of a part-time program developer and communications managers. The agency operates on a general revenue budget of $80,000 per year. Section 29-20-2 of the West Virginia Code requires the Women's Commission:

To review and study the status of women in this state;

To recommend methods of overcoming discrimination against women in public and private employment and in the exercise of their civil and political rights;

To promote more effective methods for enabling women to develop their skills, to continue their education and to be retrained;

To strengthen home life by directing attention to the critical problems confronting women as wives, mothers, homemakers and workers;

To make surveys in the fields of, but not limited to education, social services, labor laws and employment policies, law enforcement, health, new and expanded services of benefit to women, legal rights, family relations and volunteer services;

To secure appropriate recognition of women's accomplishments and contributions to this state;

To disseminate information for the purpose of educating the public as to the existence and functions of the Commission and as to matters of general beneficial interest to women;

To advise, consult and cooperate with other offices of the department of health and human resources and other agencies of state government, to receive assistance therefrom, in the development of activities and programs of beneficial interest to women and on matters relating generally to women.

The Women's Commission Has Attempted To Meet Its Mandate By Dissemination of Information

In 1995 the Commission released the publication, West Virginia Women in Perspective, its first of two major projects that occurred during the review period. This publication contains statistical data which gives detailed information about West Virginia Women in regards to; 1) Women in West Virginia; 2) Older Women; 3) Education and Training; 4) The Economy; 5) Income and Poverty; 6) Health; and, 7) The Law.

The 155 page book took three years to develop and is, according to the Commission, "a tool for social analysis and a resource for policy making and advocacy. Organizations, government agencies and lawmakers can use it to shape their agendas more effectively and address systematic inequities for women and girls."

The second major project produced by the agency, during the review period, was published in 1996. It was the publication of the second edition of a book entitled Women and the Law. This Legal Rights Handbook provides a thorough explanation of the problematic legal areas which affect the women of the state.

In addition to these two major projects several small West Virginia Know How pamphlets were developed. This series of pamphlets provide a quick reference of information for subjects which concern women. Below is a listing of the West Virginia Women Know How pamphlets produced. They include:

_ Domestic Violence
_ Girls in School
_ Running for Office
_ The Vote
_ Starting your Business
_ Breast and Cervical Cancer
_ Menopause

The Commission also developed other helpful pieces of information concerning women's safety issues. These were entitled When Dating Hurts, Stop the Hurt: A Handbook for Victims of Family Violence, and Staying Safe From a Stalker.

Throughout the year the Women's Commission sponsors events "in keeping with the goals to educate, celebrate and advocate on behalf of the women of the state". One of these events is The Celebrate Women Awards which "recognizes the outstanding accomplishments of West Virginia women in 11 distinct categories: The Arts, Business, Education, Government, Labor, Public Service, Professions, Science, Sports, Volunteer Service, and Mountaineer Spirit." Another perhaps more publicized event is the national Take Our Daughters to Work Day which is coordinated on the state level by the Women's Commission. This annual event has "grown each year with approximately 500 girls and their parents or adult sponsors in attendance in 1996". The Commission also sponsors an annual West Virginia Women's Town Meeting. This event is held in a different location each year to allow women the "opportunity to discuss, organize and network around issues of concern". Adding to the responsibility of the Commission is the participation in Committees, Advisory Panels and Task Forces. Below is a list of the groups the Commission works with most frequently as of February, 1997:

_ West Virginia Human Resources Association
Welfare Reform Impact Initiative Planning Collaborative
_ Coalition for West Virginia's Children
_ Family Violence Coordinating Council
_ Girls in Sports Banquet and Recognition Committee
_ Office of Maternal and Child Health Task Force on Violence and Injury
_ Civil Rights Summit
_ Bureau for Public Health-Rape Prevention Task Force
_ Charleston Council on Public Safety: Domestic Violence
_ Child Care Committee of the Governor's Early Childhood Implementation Commission
_ West Virginia Coalition against Domestic Violence

The Commission keeps records of requests from the public for information or materials developed by the agency. Through reviewing these, some idea of the demand for information provided by the Commission can be gained. The table below lists the number of books and pamphlets provided each year by the Commission to individuals and public organizations since 1994.

Table 1
Information Disseminated by the Women's Commission
YearNumber of Books ProvidedNumber Pamphlets ProvidedTotals
*- To date, September 1997

Status of West Virginia Women Today

According to Executive Order Number 9-77 issued in 1977, the Women's Commission was created "for the broad purpose of improving the status and opportunities of women in this State." The Women's Commission's Internet home page slogan is "Working to improve the lives of West Virginia women." Also according to its web site, "The Women's Commission exists to improve the quality of life for state women." However, statistics show that West Virginia women continue to lag behind the rest of the nation in several important areas.

In 1980, 15.6% of all births in the United States were to teenage mothers. In 1980 West Virginia ranked 44th in the nation (including the District of Columbia) with 20% of births to teenage mothers. Between 1980 and 1995 the statistics declined for both the state and the nation. According to the Women's Commission, "in 1990, babies in West Virginia were more likely to be born to a mother under the age of 20 than babies in the United States as a whole." In 1995, West Virginia ranked 45th in births to teenage mothers. Although there was an improvement, West Virginia continues to have a significantly higher rate of teenage births then the nation as a whole. Table 1 illustrates West Virginia's and the United States' statistics.

Table 2
Births to Teenage Mothers, 1980, 1990 and 1995
U. S.15.6%
of births
of all births to residents
of all births to residents
W. V.20%
of births
of all births to residents
of all births to residents

In the United States in 1980, 14.7% of all women lived in poverty. In West Virginia, 16.4% of the women population lived in poverty. While the national statistics stayed relatively stable for women in poverty between 1980 and 1989, Table 2 shows West Virginia's percentage increased significantly over the decade. In 1989, West Virginia ranked 48th in percentage of women in poverty.

Table 3
Poverty Statistics
for 1980 and 1989*
U. S.14.7% of female population14.4% of female population
W. V.16.4% of female population21.3% of female population
*Latest year for which census data were available

Even though high school attendance is mandatory, statistics for West Virginia continues to lag behind the nation. In 1980, West Virginia ranked 43rd in high school graduation, but fell to 49th in the nation despite an increase in the percentage of high school graduates. Furthermore, West Virginia ranks lowest in the nation for the percentage of female population age 25 years and over with a college degree or with a minimum of four years of college.

Table 4
Percentage of High School Graduates Age 25 yrs and Over
1980 High School Graduates1990 High School Graduates
U. S.70.7%70.3%75.7%74.8%
W. V.56.0%56.0%65.9%66.0%
1980, 4 or more years of College1990, bachelor's degree or higher
U. S.20.1%12.8%23.3%17.6%
W. V.12.3%8.8%13.9%11.0%

The Women's Commission views personal safety of women as one of its three main objectives. However, between 1990 and 1996 reports of domestic violence in West Virginia increased by over 200%, from 3,040 to 9,678 (see Figure 1). Of the reported complaints of domestic violence, the average percentage of reports in which women were victims was over 85%.

The increase in domestic violence complaints can also be attributed to a greater public awareness, so that there is less reluctance to file a complaint. The Women's Commission has been active in providing information on domestic violence and has contributed along with other organizations to the greater public awareness.

According to the Women's Commission,

West Virginia women were less likely to serve in an elected position than in the nation as a whole;
West Virginia ranked 43 out of the 50 states in growth of women owned businesses for the time period of 1982 to 1987;
West Virginia's female unemployment rate (8.7%) was higher than the national average (6.2%) in 1990;
West Virginia had the fifth highest cervical cancer death rate in the nation in 1990.

Although there is a positive trend in some areas, West Virginia still falls short of national averages. According to one member of the Women's Commission, "it is clear that in many areas the women of West Virginia are being shortchanged and their development lags by comparison with the rest of the United States."

Women's Commission Has Been Ineffective

The primary means of the Women's Commission to impact change in the status of women is through education and dissemination of information. The Women's Commission has several publications that provide information on women's issues and statistical information on the status of women in West Virginia. Unfortunately, dissemination of information alone is not sufficient to improve the status of women. For greater effectiveness in improving the condition of women, the Women's Commission needs to initiate legislative change. A primary failure of the Women's Commission is a lack of legislative initiative.

To illustrate the greater effectiveness legislative change has over simply disseminating information are seat belt laws. An extensive 1980 study of seat belt usage in other nations prepared for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration by Peat, Marwick, Mitchell & Co., concluded that "public information and educational programs, while useful for informing people, do not cause people to change their behavior." Two years later, New York passed the first of what would be a wave of state seat belt enforcement laws. By December 1995, 49 states and the District of Columbia had enacted some type of seat belt enforcement legislation. From 1983 to 1985, 3588 lives were saved by seat belt use. By 1986 that number had nearly doubled and continues to increase every year at a significant rate. It was not until seat belt legislation that seat belts began to make an impact in saving lives.

By the Commission's own admission, other state women's commissions with legislative initiatives are the most effective. For example, one state which consistently has good statistics in women's issues is the state of Vermont. In a letter from the Vermont Governor's Commission on Women, the Executive Director stated that "We have found that the majority of our accomplishments in improving the lives of women have come to fruition via the legislative process."

In response to the Legislative Auditor's question, "What particular problems hinder the Commission in improving the status of West Virginia women?", the Women's Commission stated:

In meetings, correspondence and conversations with other Commissions for Women across the country, we have discovered that those who experience the greatest measures of success are those who have the ability to write and advocate for legislation directly with their legislature. The same holds true for policy; those commissions with a direct link to policy makers are able to affect positive change for their state's women much more effectively, and in much less time, than those without that link. Unfortunately, we are not in such a position.

The Women's Commission asserts that it does not have direct access to policy makers or the ability to write and advocate for legislation directly with the Legislature. However, this assertion contradicts the intent of the Commission's statute. The Commission has direct access to policy makers. As was previously stated, the Women's Commission is composed of eighteen members, seven who are ex-officio nonvoting members: the Attorney General, the State Superintendent of Schools, the Commissioner of Labor, the Commissioner of the Bureau of Human Resources of the Department of Health and Human Resources, the Director of the Human Rights Commission, the Director of the Division of Personnel and the Chancellor of the Board of Directors of the State College system. These members are policy makers in government agencies.

Furthermore, there is nothing in statute that precludes the Women's Commission from writing or advocating for legislation directly with the Legislature. A legal opinion from the Division of Legislative Services indicated that there is "no statutory basis for the Women's Commission's contention that they are unable to lobby the legislature, or to author suggested legislation, or to attend interim legislative meetings to advocate changes in the law."

It may be that the Commission does not consider it has a direct link to policymakers because there is poor attendance for some ex-officio members or their designees. Table 4 shows the percentage of meetings attended by ex-officio members or designees for the past nineteen meetings, covering the period of September 1992 through January 1997. The overall average attendance for ex-officio members or designees for this period was 39%.

Table 5
Ex Officio Members
(Percentage of the Last Nineteen Meetings in Attendance)
Ex Officio MemberAttendance Rate
Attorney General68%
Director of Human Rights Commission63%
Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Resources16%
Chancellor of the Board of
Directors of State College System

State Superintendent of Schools74%
Commissioner of the Department of Labor16%
Director of the Division of Personnel5%

According to the current director of the Women's Commission, the ex officio members "as representatives of a variety of departments within state government,...are busy, responsible professionals in their individual fields. As a result, there can be scheduling conflicts with commission meetings. In addition, their attendance may be driven by issues and projects of interest on our meeting agenda." Table 5 shows the attendance rate for both voting and non-voting members.

Table 6
Attendance Rate at Women's Commission Meetings

for FY 1993 to 1997
Voting members65%
Ex Officio Non-voting members39%

Since the Commission does not feel it has a direct link to the Legislature, the Commission's legislative initiatives consists of listing recommendations in its annual reports, which it is required to do by law. However, an analysis of the Commission's legislative recommendations shows that the same recommendations are made repeatedly, some as many as 15 years. From 1991 to 1994, the Women's Commission made no annual report and annual reports made from 1994 to 1997 contain no recommendations. Instead, recommendations since 1992 have been provided as separate documents. Table 6 identifies some recommendations made by the Women's Commission and the frequency with which they occurred.

Table 7
Legislative Recommendations


Fiscal Years Made
Total Number of Years Made
Increase staff and funding for Women's Commission1979, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1990, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1996, 1997, 1998
Adequate Services for victims of Domestic Violence1979, 1981, 1982, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1994, 1995, 199613
Increase appointment and hiring of qualified women to policy making positions1979, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 199313
Facilitate entry of women into training for employment1979, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 199012
Promote legislation to increase availability of affordable child care1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1994, 1996, 1997, 199815
Promote adequate services for displaced homemakers.1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 199011
Promote equal treatment of women in state employee insurance and pension plans1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 19909
Revise WV State Code to eliminate gender specific language and discriminatory sections of the code1983, 1984, 19853
Pass comparable worth laws1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1997, 19989
Develop stronger policies forbidding sexual harassment and better educate about it.1987, 1988, 1989, 19904

Inadequate Funding Does Not Appear to be a Cause of Ineffectiveness

The Women's Commission identified funding as one of the major problems hindering it from improving the status of women in West Virginia. The director of the Women's Commission wrote:

There are many projects and important issues we would be more actively involved in, or implement programs for, if we had funding for additional staff....There are many books, booklets and brochures we would research and write while continuing to solicit partial or full funding from partnering organizations. Currently we are unable to pursue these because of budgetary and staffing constraints. In many instances we would like to solicit feedback directly from the women of our state,...Obtaining such information, in a well-organized and appropriate manner is expensive. Again, we are back to budget constraints.

The Legislative Auditor's Office obtained budget information for 16 other state Women's Commissions. In addition to these states, there are eleven states that were identified as not having a Women's Commission. The 28 states for which budget data were available were ranked (see Appendix C) according to their average national ranking for five important statistics. A correlation analysis was conducted between the expenditures per female population and the average ranking for the five statistical categories. The result showed a correlation of -0.349, which is relatively low to moderate. The correlation indicates that states with the highest expenditures per female population had the better average ranking for the five categories.

Although there is a relatively moderate correlation between expenditure per female and statistical performance, West Virginia ranked 8th for budget expenditure per state female population, yet it ranked 27th out of the 28 states in statistical performance. In budgetary expenditures per female, West Virginia was above or close to states such as Alaska, California, Colorado, Idaho, Maine, Minnesota, Utah, Wisconsin. However, each of these state have significantly better statistics for women. This indicates that West Virginia's Women's Commission has a budget that is comparable to states that have good statistical performance, yet it ranks next to last in women's statistics.

Significant Overlap with Other Programs

In addition to the ineffectiveness of the Women's Commission, an equally important problem is its overlap with other programs that address women's issues. Many of the women's issues addressed by the Commission are also addressed by other state agencies. For example, in its fiscal year 1996 annual report, the Commission indicated that it assisted the Governor's Office, the Cabinet on Children and Families, and the Department of Health and Human Resources in the development of the 1996 Governor's Child Care Initiative. In the same report, the Commission supported girls sports equity as a member of the State Department of Education Equity Review Panel. The Women's Commission has addressed women's issues in conjunction with the Department of Health and Human Resources, the Governor's Cabinet on Children and Families, the West Virginia Family Violence Coordinating Council, the Department of Education, and the Human Rights Commission.

The Commission has indicated that it primarily focuses on promoting women's economic advancement, personal safety, and health security. Below is a list of issues for which the Commission has provided materials:

Child Support 8. Women's Health Issues
Domestic Violence 9. Family Law
Sexual Harassment 10. Pay Equity
Sexual Discrimination 11. Starting Your Business
Sex Discrimination in Education 12. Girls in Sports
Affirmative Action 13. Running for Office
WV Women's Economic Status

A review of these issues indicates that many of them are the responsibility of several state agencies. Below is a list of state programs that are active in women's issues.

Governor's Cabinet on Children and Families works to promote the delivery of prenatal care for all pregnant women, and combat teenage pregnancy with a statutory mandate to reduce the number of teen pregnancies by fifty percent by the year 2000. The Governor's Cabinet is also required to provide public information on services available through various means, and report annually to the Legislature.
West Virginia Department of Education awards grants to community colleges and community-based organizations for projects assisting single parents, displaced homemakers and single pregnant women. Grants are also awarded to projects focusing on promoting equity and nontraditional occupational training, eliminating sex bias, sex stereotyping, sex discrimination, and sexual harassment.
Office of Sex Equity within the West Virginia Department of Education works to eliminate gender biases in education.
The Family Protection Services Board was created in 1989. It is required to facilitate the formation and operation of family protection shelters for persons who are victims of domestic violence. The Board is required to study issues pertinent to domestic violence victims, and report the results to the Governor and the Legislature.
5. The Equal Pay Commission which studies methodology to implement a gender discrimination prohibition legislation.
Governor's Executive Order 6-90 which established an Equal Employment Opportunity Program for all agencies under the Governor's jurisdiction and created the position of the State Equal Employment Opportunity Officer.
Human Rights Commission investigates complaints of discrimination. It is also authorized to study problems of discrimination in all fields and recommend to the Governor and Legislature policy or legislative changes affecting human rights. The Commission has conducted conferences that discuss a variety of issues including sexual harassment and sex equity.
Bureau of Child Support Enforcement is required by law (§48A-2-39) to regularly and frequently publicize through public service announcements the availability of its services and its toll-free telephone number for which further information can be obtained.
West Virginia Human Rights Act ensures equal access to public places without regard to sex;
Department of Health and Human Resources aids women financially through Medicare and Medicaid, TANF, SSI, Food Stamps, WIC, Low Income Energy Assistance Program, and a Homeless program; and
Mandatory affirmative action plans drafted for every state agency with more than 50 employees.

In addition to State programs, there are several Federal programs which provide aid to women:

Chapter 9 of the Education Amendments of 1972 which works to eliminate sex discrimination in education;
Fair Labor Standards Act addresses minimum wage and non-exempt employees including women;
The Federal Equal Pay Act prohibits pay discrimination in similar jobs;
The Job Training Partnership Act (JTPA) of 1982 assists economically disadvantaged persons and those with serious barriers to employment to be productive members of the labor force;
Displaced Homemakers Self-Sufficiency Assistance Act authorizes grants to supplement the training and support service provided to displaced homemakers by State programs and state-wide non-profit organizations;
1989 U.S. Department of Labor's Glass Ceiling Initiative;
Equal Employment Opportunity Legislation;
A court case in 1992 dealing with fetal protection prohibits employers from discriminating against women in employment on the grounds that it may be harmful to the female reproductive system (i.e. radiology, etc.); and
Uniform Reciprocal Enforcement of Support Act makes it possible to collect child support from responsible parents residing in other states.

In addition to programs, much of the information which is published by the Women's Commission is already available although not in the same format. These sources include:

Monthly Labor Review;
National Center for Health Statistics, Monthly Vital Statistics Report;
U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census;
West Virginia Department of Public Health;
West Virginia Department of Public Safety;
West Virginia Family Protection Services Board;
West Virginia Bureau of Employment Programs; and
West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources, Office of Audit, Research and Analysis.

Should The Women's Commission Be Discontinued?

The Legislative Auditor asked the Commission to respond to the following question: "Would there be any significant adverse effects if the Women's Commission were discontinued?" The Commission answered "yes" to this question and provided five major reasons. These reasons are as follows:

Reason 1: Pay Equity/Comparable Worth

The Commission indicated that it is "the only agency within state government who acts as an advocate for pay equity and comparable worth for women. If the commission was discontinued there would be no group committed to actively calling for and working toward improvement in this important area.

Legislative Auditor's Response to Reason 1:

Pay equity is an area within the jurisdiction of the Human Rights Commission. Under its statute (§5-11-9) it is illegal for any employer to discriminate against an individual with respect to compensation. Pay equity is also an issue that can be studied by the Human Rights Commission under §5-11-8(i). In addition, during the 1998 legislative session, the Legislature passed Senate Bill 31 which created the Equal Pay Commission to examine implementation of gender discrimination prohibition. The Equal Pay Commission will be in existence through July, 2003, and is required to provide reports to the legislature and recommend legislative rule changes. The Executive Director of the Women's Commission was made a member of the Equal Pay Commission. The overlap of the Women's Commission and the Equal Pay Commission is obvious. The discontinuance of the Women's Commission will not prevent progress from being made in the area of pay equity.

Reason 2: Publications

The Women's Commission indicated that it has published a variety of materials important to women. One publication mentioned is Women in Perspective which is a resource of statistical data on West Virginia women. Another publication is Women and the Law: A Legal Rights Handbook, which discusses legal rights issues for women. The Commission indicated that no other group collects and publishes this information.

Legislative Auditor's Response to Reason 2:

All of the information in the Women in Perspective publication is also reported by several state agencies, such as the Department of Health and Human Resources, the Department of Public Safety, the Department of Education, the Bureau of Employment Programs, the Family Protection Services Board, and the Development Office. The value added by the Women's Commission is that the information is combined into one publication. Nevertheless, the information in this publication will not be lost if the Women's Commission is discontinued. Furthermore, if there is any publication that is considered an important resource, the Department of Health and Human Resources can continue to make them available to the public.

Reason 3: Women's Town Meetings

The Commission indicated that these town meetings are "a forum designed to gather intelligence for our legislative bodies from women around the state....If the commission were discontinued there would not be a systematic presentation of issues provided to the legislature."

Legislative Auditor's Response to Reason 3:

The Women's Commission considers that it does not have a direct link with the Legislature and therefore it is not as effective as other state commissions that do. These town meetings are only as effective as the Commission's legislative initiatives, which according to the Commission has not been effective.

Reason 4: Domestic Violence

The Women's Commission indicated that:

"With the exception of the Family Protection Services Board, the Women's Commission is the only state agency which actively concerns itself with domestic violence. During the 1998 session the Family Violence Prevention Bill was passed and Governor Underwood established the Family Violence Coordinating Council (FVCC) by Executive Order. The Women's Commission was very active in the development of the legislation and was named to the FVCC. Discontinuing the (Women's) Commission leaves a gap in state governmental support of the elimination of domestic violence."

Legislative Auditor's Response to Reason 4:

The Women's Commission has been a major advocate for the elimination of domestic violence. For example, the Women's Commission researched, wrote, and published Stop the Hurt: A Handbook for Victims of Family Violence in West Virginia. Over 30,000 copies of the booklet have been distributed statewide. However, discontinuing the Women's Commission will not leave a gap in the support of eliminating domestic violence. Domestic violence statistics are required by state law to be reported to the Governor and the Legislature semiannually by the Department of Public Safety. Furthermore, the Family Protection Services Board was established in 1989 to address domestic violence.

Reason 5: Women's Day at the Legislature

The Women's Commission stated that "Women's Day at the Legislature provides an opportunity for state women to experience government in action while learning about and sharing information on key issues of importance."

Legislative Auditor's Response to Reason 5:

Discontinuing the Women's Commission does not prevent this activity from occurring if the Legislature or the Department of Health and Human Resources considers it a useful activity for addressing women's issues.


It is the Legislative Auditor's conclusion that the Women's Commission be terminated. The Commission's primary means of effecting positive change has been through disseminating information. The Commission has been effective in disseminating information, however, this method of change has proven ineffective. An important vehicle of change is the legislative process, which the Commission acknowledges. However, the Commission does not feel it has a direct link to the legislative process or to policymakers. Consequently, its legislative initiatives have been ineffective. The Commission has been in existence for twenty-one years, yet the status of West Virginia women continues to lag behind the nation in important areas. The Legislature has been addressing some of these areas over the years through several programs, many of which significantly overlap the Commission's duties. It would be inefficient to continue funding the Women's Commission given that much of what it does is also done by other state agencies. Activities or publications offered by the Commission that are determined to be useful should be made available by the Department of Health and Human Resources.
Recommendation 1:

The Legislature should consider termination of the Women's Commission.

Recommendation 2:

If the Legislature chooses not to terminate the Women's Commission, then the Legislature should consider giving the Women's Commission a three year continuance to give it the opportunity to improve its effectiveness and develop a unique (non - duplicative) and more active role in advocating for changes which it believes would improve the status of women in West Virginia.