COSROW? Coleslaw? Causeway? What is COSROW?

COSROW? Coleslaw? Causeway? What is COSROW?

September 13, 2023

Submitted by Rev. Cindy Hickman

If you are new to the United Methodist Church (UMC) or have lost your way in too many acronyms, COSROW is the Commission on the Status and Role of Women. In 1972, the United Methodist Church established COSROW to “challenge the UMC for the full and equal participation of women in the total life and mission of the Church.” You can learn more about the Commission at Each annual conference is required to establish a COSROW team. 

During COVID-19, COSROW took a bit of a hiatus as we tended to the immediate issues surrounding the pandemic. Today, COSROW is back and ready to go to work.

In the Iowa Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church (IAUMC), COSROW monitors, advocates, witnesses, and serves as a change agent for women and others who may face discrimination or abuse.

COSROW works to help the church recognize every person, clergy and lay, women and men, adults and children, as full and equal parts of God’s human family. We believe a fully engaged and empowered membership is vital to the UMC’s mission “to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.”  

COSROW plays a specific role in addressing sexual ethics and misconduct, recognizing that gender violence diminishes our human spirit and the church.   

Melody Edwards-Williams serves as the chair of IAUMC’s COSROW. She is excited and committed to this opportunity.

Williams said, “Being asked to chair COSROW is a great honor. I look forward to working with a fantastic team. The importance of the work to assure a safe response to those who have experienced misconduct or abuse cannot be understated.”  

The COSROW team is preparing our Ministry Action Plan (MAP), clarifying our values, confirming our mission, and developing strategies to carry out our work.

To connect with Williams, email