The Kentucky Commission on Women is dedicated to elevating the status of women and girls in the Commonwealth, empowering them to overcome barriers to equity, and expanding opportunities to achieve their fullest potential.
KRS 344.510-344.530 mandates the Kentucky Commission on Women to:
- Promote, encourage and provide advisory assistance in the establishment of local volunteer community improvement programs for, and of the interest to, women;
- Conduct programs, studies, seminars, and conferences, and encourage state and local women's business, professional, and civic organizations to do likewise, to educate the public on women's problems;
- Consult with and advise the Governor and the agencies, departments, boards and commissions of the state, local and municipal governments on matters pertaining to women;
- Cooperate with the federal government and with other states' governments on programs relating to women; and
- Contract from time to time as may be appropriate with experts and consultants who may be utilized as deemed necessary and make other purchases and expenditures, all in accordance with the provisions of KRS Chapter 45A, and make such other agreements, subject to the provisions of KRS Chapter 45 and 45A, and perform any acts that may be necessary to carry out the purpose of KRS 344.510 to 344.530.
In response to President John F. Kennedy's creation of The Commission on the Status of Women, Kentucky Governor Edward T. Breathitt established a state commission in April 1964 to study and report on the status of Kentucky women. The findings demonstrated a pronounced need for a permanent agency to promote the improvement of women's status, and in November 1968, Governor Louie Nunn signed the executive order establishing the Kentucky Commission on Women. In 1970, the Kentucky Commission on Women became an official state agency through legislative action. The Kentucky Commission on Women became part of the Cabinet for General Government as an administrative body attached to the Governor's Office in 1980.
In January 2008, Governor Steven Beshear relocated the Kentucky Commission on Women to the State Capitol for the first time in its history and the Commission shared the same hall as the Kentucky Women Remembered Exhibit. In 2018, Governor Matt Bevin ended funding for the administrative staff. The Commission on Women currently has no in-person presence.