Women Gather on Coast to Talk About Issues They Face In Misssissippi

A coast confernce could help to improve the lives of women in Mississippi. People from around the state were in Long Beach on Saturday for a conference called Mississippi's Women's Forum: Vision 2001. A recent study shows that Mississippi ranks near the bottom in quality of life issues like health care, political participation and earnings. Organizers say open discussion is key to solving some of the problems that women face.

Suzanne Burnette of  the United States Department of Labor said "Women comprise a majority of the population in this country and yet we are not represented in policies and in all avenues and aspects of our worklife. Mississippi is not different than others in its underepresentation but this is a first major step to correct that."

The women of Mississippi will soon have a new voice in the state capital. Earlier this week Governor Ronnie Musgrove signed a bill creating the Commission for the Status on Women. The commission would help keep issues that affect women and children in the limelight in the state legislature. A coalition of 30 women's advocacy groups helped get the bill passed.

Government officials hope to appoint the new members of the Commission for the Status of Women by October.

by Danielle Thomas