Santa Rosa, CA – February 22, 2021 – In January 2019, the Sonoma County Commission on the Status of Women convened a year-long series of “Listening Sessions” throughout Sonoma County. The purpose of these sessions was to gain a better understanding of the most urgent issues local women are facing, both personally and within their communities, and to give them an opportunity to share their thoughts, concerns, needs and ideas with the Commission. A survey, available online and via hard copy, was widely distributed throughout the county, as well. When the pandemic hit in March of last year, there was concern that the survey results may no longer be accurate or relevant, but it is more likely that the problems expressed are much the same but amplified.
Listening Sessions were held in each of the five Supervisorial Districts in Sonoma County and the Women’s section of the Sonoma County Main Adult Detention Facility. While discussions varied in each community, there were several common themes throughout the county. Pre-pandemic, one prevalent theme was the need for community centers or gathering places that would offer a space where people can meet and share ideas, access information on resources, form support groups, and receive education and training. While in-person meetings currently aren’t possible, virtual meetings have become commonplace and are sometimes more accessible for those without transportation. Other common issues are the lack of low income housing, racial profiling, gender bias, job and income insecurity, and much more. This report speaks in detail to issues communicated in each district session, and deserves to be read thoroughly. This report is currently being shared with organizations and individuals throughout Sonoma County. Read the Executive Summary and full Report here:
2020 Voices of Sonoma County Women (Executive Summary) (PDF: 73 kB)
2020 Voices of Sonoma County Women (Complete Report) (PDF: 684 kB)
Informe 2020 Voces de Mujeres del Condado de Sonoma (Resumen Ejecutivo) (PDF: 78 kB)
Informe 2020 Voces de Mujeres del Condado de Sonoma (Reporte Completo) (PDF: 743 kB)
From the data gathered from the written survey, it was determined that the top five issues impacting women in the community overall were:
- Low-income housing
- Access to quality, affordable childcare
- Lack of affordable, accessible healthcare
- Mental Health issues and lack of services
The Commission on the Status of Women is passionate about hearing from women from a wide range of backgrounds. Moving forward with 2021 Voices research, the Commission intends to expand recruitment efforts and include additional questions that capture a wider array of experiences. For updates on this continuing project, please visit the Commission’s website sococsw.org, Facebook @ Sonoma County Commission on the Status of Women, and on Instagram @csw_sonomacounty. Let YOUR Voice be heard! To contact the Commission, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
CSW is dedicated to promoting equal rights and opportunities that enhance quality of life for all women and girls, and to addressing issues of discrimination and prejudice that negatively affect Sonoma County women. The 15 commissioners on this public advisory body are appointed by the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors and represent all districts. Learn more about CSW here.