collins 012521CHICAGO – State Senator Jacqueline Collins (D-Chicago) urged young women aged 14 to 18 to step up and apply to join the Illinois Council on Women and Girls to help shape the policies that will ensure a more equal future for female citizens in Illinois.

“I pushed for the creation of the Illinois Council on Women and Girls because despite some progress, women still have far to go to reach true equality in America,” Collins said. “And these policies are of even greater importance to our young women: Access to health, education, an equal wage, and so many other issues are apparent when we look to the lived experiences of our young women. We need to hear their voices.”

Collins sponsored legislation creating the council with the goal of studying the systemic barriers faced by women and girls in Illinois and developing clear policy goals to address them. Led by Lt. Gov. Juliana Stratton, the council issued its first report in March of last year, available here.

The Girls Committee will focus in particular on the concerns of young women in Illinois. Collins said young women must have a say in the policies that disproportionately affect their lives.

“The thoughts, behaviors, and even the bodies of young women are policed and politicized, and those of young women of color more so than almost any other group of people,” Collins said. “We must open our ears and our hearts to their struggles and find the means of providing them the opportunity to use their God-given talents to become tomorrow’s leaders.”

Young women in Illinois aged 14 to 18 can apply for the Girls Committee here: