REPRINTED FROM BLOG AT THIRD AND STATE (www.thirdandstate.org)
A new report by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research ranked the 50 states and the District of Columbia based on the status of women in six different categories: poverty and opportunity, work and family, violence and safety, reproductive rights, health and well-being, and political participation. Minnesota, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Vermont scored highest overall. Pennsylvania received an overall ranking of 23 in the nation and an overall C+ grade. The commonwealth fared poorly on several measures of the status of women: Work & family and political participation were the two worst categories.
Some key findings:
- Pennsylvania women only earn, on average, 76 cents for every dollar a man earns, which is the 11th worst gender wage gap in the nation. At the current rate, they will not receive equal pay until the year 2072.
- 32.1% of employed Pennsylvania women work in low-wage jobs, and few (27%) own businesses compared to men (56.3%).
- Almost half of women living in the commonwealth — 47% — do not live in a county with an abortion provider.
- Pennsylvania ranked 48th for number of women serving in elected office, better only than Georgia and Louisiana.
However, Pennsylvania ranked highly on a few measures of women’s status.
- The state ranked 9th best on the Paid Leave Legislation Index and 11th best on the Women Institutional Resources Index.
- Fewer women in Pennsylvania live below the poverty level than in all but 14 states, with 86.5% of women and 89.3% of men living above the poverty level.
- Pennsylvania ranked 9th best in healthcare coverage. The vast majority of residents, 88% of women and 83.7% of men, have health insurance.