Cristine Swanson Wilson


"For many young women in the '60s and '70s, it came with a sudden flash of knowledge that things were not as they should be. She saw it not so much for herself personally but in global terms and sought to change things for all of us."
—Roxanne Conlin, 1985

Cristine Swanson Wilson's innovative spirit and hard work made the Iowa Women's Hall of Fame a reality. Wilson served on temporary Governor's commissions on women that evolved into the Iowa Commission on the Status of Women in 1972, the first permanent state agency for Women's concerns. As its first chair, Wilson fought for passage of anti-discriminatory laws in housing, credit, education, employment, and insurance; recognition of homemakers' contributions in inheritance tax determination; a model, progressive rape statute; provision for state funding and licensing of childcare centers; creation of a process by which more women could be appointed to state boards and commissions; and creation of the Iowa Women's Hall of Fame. As a Women's movement pioneer, Wilson helped to found the Iowa Women's Political Caucus and served as the first woman chair of the Polk County Republican Platform committee. Her remarkable achievements have contributed to Iowa's recognition nationally as a state characterized by equality and justice. In 1982, the Commission established a Medal for Equality and Justice in her name, which is awarded to Iowans whose life and work illustrate such service and dedication. She was inducted into the Iowa Women's Hall of Fame in 1989.

UPDATE: Wilson died in 1991.