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Illinois Council on Women and Girls

The Illinois Council on Women and Girls advises the Governor and the General Assembly on policy issues impacting women and girls in the State.

The Illinois Council on Women and Girls Act under 20 ILCS 5130/15 created the Illinois Council on Women and Girls. The Council also ensures that they disseminate information and build relationships between State agencies and commissions in furtherance of the Council’s goals.

These goals and policy issues include those that advance the role and civic participation of women and girls in the State and promote resources and opportunities for academic and professional growth, including but not limited to:

  • Legal protections and prevention efforts in cases of domestic violence, sexual harassment in the workplace, and other forms of gender-based violence
  • Policies that provide proper standards of healthcare, study the disparate impacts on women as it pertains to diverse demographics, and promote increased access to reproductive healthcare
  • The protection of LGBTQIA+ women from violence and harassment and increase their access to culturally competent health care, housing, employment, and other opportunities
  • Increasing leadership opportunities for women of color to be included in decision-making capacities, and identifying barriers toward parity
  • Academic and career opportunities for all women across Illinois


In furtherance of the Council’s goals, the Council has created five sub-committees to advance its role in advising the Governor and the General Assembly.

Girls Committee

Composed of 19 high school girls selected from across the State, adds to the diversity represented on the council by including young people's voices.

Gender-Based Violence Committee

Supports the work of the Council in advancing policies aimed at eliminating violence against women, girls, and non-binary people and building partnerships for better state-wide resources for survivors of gender-based violence.

Academic and Economic Opportunity Committee

Focuses on policies and programsthat break down barriers and build pathways for women to succeed academically, professionally, and economically.

Leadership and Inclusion Committee

Identifies, creates, and promotes avenues for women and girls to access leadership opportunities in all fields.

Health and Healthcare Committee

Seeks to improve access to healthcare, identify public health issues which impact women and girls, and promote access to reproductive healthcare.

Council Updates

The first quarterly meeting of 2023 was held on February 21. 

  • The 19 new members of the Girls Committee introduced themselves to Lt. Governor Stratton and the full council.
  • Women Employed and the Illinois Department of Labor presented on women’s economic and workforce advancements.

The Leadership and Inclusion Committee announced Illinois Girls Lead — a pilot program providing the opportunity for girls across Illinois to shadow women state legislators and learn more about government and public service. This program is open to girls across Illinois, in grades 5-12. 

The Girls Lead application is due by Saturday, June 10. Apply here.

In March, the Girls Committee met with Rep. Barbara Hernandez, who spoke about passing a bill that required schools to provide menstrual hygiene products in bathrooms. This subcommittee is also developing projects to address issues such as gender-based violence, body image and eating disorders, and women’s underrepresentation in STEM.

On March 15, the Gender-Based Violence Committee held the Know Your Rights webinar which highlighted organizations across Illinois that support survivors of gender-based violence. Panelists discussed the importance of cultural competency in their work, as well as resources available to survivors.

The Health and Healthcare Committee is developing a two-part webinar series focused on preventing gun violence in Illinois. The first webinar will be held in June. Date and time TBA.

Annual Reports

Upcoming Meetings

Previous Meetings