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‘We feel we still have a mission’

Kitty Kunz, executive director of the Idaho Women’s Commission, says she personally disagrees with the idea that the commission has outlived its usefulness, as suggested by Sen. Joyce Broadsword, R-Sagle, who’s proposed legislation to eliminate it. “We feel we still have a mission, even though it has changed since the 1970s, to educate women as to the laws of the state, refer them to resources in the state.” Kunz said she believes the commission’s work still fits within the laws that established it. She’s long heard objections that Idaho has no men’s commission. “We get that argument a lot,” she said. “We are assimilated into society now as far as in the workplace, those kinds of things, but they fail to see how we are still behind on many aspects, if you look at census data.”

Kunz said her commission had been working with the governor’s office on possibly consolidating offices for several of the state’s small commissions, such as hers, the Idaho Human Rights Commission and the Idaho Commission on Hispanic Affairs. That way, they could share phone lines and receptionist duties, “so that we can cut back on costs, but still exist - because we are addressing a need within the state.” But she noted that the governor is staying out of the dispute, leaving it to lawmakers. Said Kunz, “Women are half of Idaho, and we are not represented half throughout the state in all aspects.”


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Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.

Named best state-based political blog in Idaho for 2013 by The Fix

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