¶ 643. There shall be in each annual conference, including the central conferences, a conference commission on the status and role of women or other structure to provide for these functions and maintain the connectional relationships.85
1. The responsibility of this commission shall be in harmony with the responsibility of the general commission (see ¶ 2103), with the following objectives established as guidelines for adaptation to the needs of the respective annual conferences:
a) To be informed about the status and role of all women in the total life of the conference. Data shall be gathered that relate to all structural levels of the conference, including the local church. Such information will be regularly updated and disseminated.
b) To initiate cooperation with United Methodist Women at
the annual conference level and other levels as appropriate in order to achieve full participation of women in the decision-making structures.
c) To develop ways to inform and sensitize the leadership within the conference at all levels on issues that affect women, which shall be projected into and through all districts within the conference by the commission.
d) To focus on major priorities of issues related to women, which may include sexual harassment policies and procedures, and to enlist the support of the bishop, cabinet, and conference staff in policies, plans, and practices related to those priorities.
e) To advise the general commission about the progress and effectiveness of efforts to achieve full participation of women in the life of the Church.
f) To participate in connectional programs and plans initiated or recommended by the general commission, and to utilize the resources available from the general commission as needed.
2. The basic membership of the conference commission shall be nominated and elected by established procedures of the respective annual conferences. Each annual conference shall determine the number and composition of the total membership, which shall consist of not fewer than twelve nor more than thirty-six. All must be members of The United Methodist Church. Special consultants without vote may be used as resource persons. Among the basic members of the commission shall be representatives from each district. There shall be at least six members at large. It is recommended that the addition of the at-large membership ensure that the total membership maintain a balance of one-third laywomen, one-third laymen, and one-third clergy. The majority of the commission shall be women, including both clergy and lay. In an annual conference where there is not a sufficient number of clergywomen to meet the recommended balance, additional laywomen shall be elected beyond the one-third proportion to bring the total membership to a majority of women. A person or persons serving as member(s) of the General Commission on the Status and Role of Women from that annual conference shall, by virtue of their office, be member(s) of the conference commission on the status and role of women (see ¶¶ 608.6 and 710.5). Selection of commission members shall ensure adequate representation of racial and ethnic groups, youth, young adults, older adults, and persons of varying lifestyles.
At least one member shall be named by the conference United Methodist Women.
3. The chairperson of the commission shall be a woman.
4. The commission shall propose a budget and submit it for inclusion in the budget of the annual conference according to procedures for funding of all boards, commissions, and agencies of the annual conference.
85. See Judicial Council Decision 712.