Women's Commission on Edgar"s Agenda Panel's Aim: Improve Social, Economic Conditions

Article excerpt

Though it failed to win an OK from the Legislature, a commission to advance the interests of women will be set up anyway.

Gov. Jim Edgar signed an executive order Monday creating a Governor's Commission on the Status of Women in Illinois.

Edgar said the group's job is to scour the economic and social landscape and uncover anything that is blocking women's progress. Then the commission is to issue recommendations "on how to protect women's rights to equality under the law." Edgar said typical barriers for women include lower wages than are paid to men, inability to find affordable child care, and inequitable treatment in retirement plans. Separate bills introduced by state Reps. Suzanne Deuchler, R-Aurora, and Jan Schakowsky, D-Evanston, would have created such a commission. Both bills passed the Democrat-controlled House but were not called for a vote in the GOP-controlled Senate earlier this year. Edgar said three women in his life - his mother, wife Brenda and daughter Elizabeth - have been the motivation behind the new commission as well as his longtime sympathy for women's issues. …