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Events recognize valley women's contributions and issues

Women Economy

INDIO, Cali. -  The Woman's Club of Indio has been contributing to the community for over 100 years now. But, it's just one of the many women's groups that inspired Assemblyman Manuel Perez to host the events this weekend to honor what they've done.
     Perez tells us, "For us it's a pleasure to know that we've had many women here in the Coachella Valley that have done quite a bit to ensure that the quality of life is improved for all our communities and today is the day in which we just wanted to recognize individuals."
     The Woman's group is in constant support of various causes in the valley, but their biggest fund-raisers go toward putting women through school.
     Gloria Franz is president of the Woman's Club. She says, "We've been giving out scholarships since the 1960s. So right now we do three student scholarships. One to Indio High School, one to Shadow hills, and one to Amistad. And we also do an empowering women scholarship for somebody a little older trying to go back to school, to try to improve their life."
     Women's issues in the valley, especially those of job and monetary inequality, we're also at the forefront of discussion.
     "When it comes to jobs and the economy, we still know that women make 70 cents to the dollar with relation to a man," Perez says. "When it comes to issues of health care, at times women unfortunately, their insurance programs are not covered."
     Newly elected State Senator Ben Hueso also attended the event. He tells us, "There's income inequality, upward mobility, and we have less women in power, positions of power. Even less women as elected officials."
     And, although lawmakers do recognize the progress that's been made, they aren't yet satisfied with where we are.
     Perez continues, "And women that have been under served, perhaps they can receive a contract, and theres a higher percentage for them to be able to receive that contract. When it comes to state contracts and making sure they get those grants."
     Hueso concluded by saying, "You know in some countries they actually legislate, they make it a requirement, that a certain percentage of the legislature needs to be held by women. I think more needs to be done to ensure that there's equal representation."
     On Saturday, the focus shifts to women's health issues at the 2nd annual Zumba for a Cure at the Boys and Girls Club in Coachella.
     Assembly Perez is even rumored to do some Zumba at the event himself.

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