Message from the Director

Executive DirectorWelcome to the San Francisco Department on the Status of Women! In 1998, San Francisco became the first city in the world to adopt a local ordinance reflecting the principles of the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). In the intervening years, the Department has used the CEDAW human rights framework to guide our work and we have developed a number of innovative programs and tools to advance women's human rights. We have conducted gender analysis of City Departments as well as City Commissions and Boards to identify areas of gender inequality and make recommendations. Our flagship grants program, the Violence Against Women Intervention & Prevention Program, funds 24 community-based agencies to address domestic violence, sexual assault, and human trafficking. Together with domestic violence response policy reforms initiated by our Justice & Courage Oversight Panel, domestic violence homicide has plunged 80% from an annual average of 10 murders a decade ago to 1 or 2 today, which is still too many, but a major improvement. For our work, the UN Institute for Research and Training awarded San Francisco the 2010 Gender Equality Award. We invite you to join us in our efforts to promote the human rights of women and girls, not just in San Francisco, but everywhere.

Emily M. Murase, PhD