Since 1972, the General Commission on the Status and Role of Women has been charged with monitoring, research, education and advocacy to eradicate sexism in The United Methodist Church. Such an enormous job requires the work not just of the commission staff
and governing board (link to board page), but also the help of volunteers in every annual conference.
All United Methodist Annual Conferences are required by the Book of Discipline to have a Commission on the Status and Role of Women (AC COSROW). You can find a description of the annual conference COSROW's purpose and responsibilities and references to other United Methodist Discipline and Resolutions policies here. Annual conferences are also required to fund the group's work. You can read more about the mandate -- and Judicial Council decisions affirming it -- here. Some conferences accomplish this through a stand-alone committee while others have tasks forces, representatives or “blended” committees whose goals include those of COSROW; however, in all of these different committee models, the goal remains the same.
The Book of Discipline tasks each AC COSROW with the work of raising awareness about the status of women and working with leaders of our churches, districts and conferences to move towards the full and equal participation of women in the total life of the church (2012 BOD ¶2103). To achieve this goal, AC COSROWs are encouraged to undertake the following four areas of ministry:
Education Advocacy Monitoring Cooperation
A brief introduction to each of these is below, or you can email us your questions!