Women won the right to vote nearly a century ago this month after a long, arduous fight , but continue to struggle in all 50 states for full equality, according to a study released ahead of Women’s Equality Day, observed annually on Aug. 26 to commemorate passage of the 19th Amendment.
For Michigan women, that’s still true.
The mitten ranked 22nd among U.S. states on gender equality issues, according to an analysis by the personal finance website WalletHub. Not bad, but not in the lead. Its data set ranged from the gap between female and male executives to the disparity in unemployment rates for women and men.
The WalletHub analysis built on previous data, including:
- For all of its progress on women’s equality issues, the United States doesn’t place in the top 10 of the World Economic Forum’s ranking of 144 countries based on gender equality. In fact, the United States slipped four points in 2017, to 49th from 45th the year earlier.
- Women make up 50 percent of the U.S. population, but are disproportionately underrepresented in leadership positions — representing only 25 percent of legislators and 29 percent of business executives, according to a study by the American Association of University Women.
- Apart from unequal representation in executive leadership, salary inequity has been central to the gender-gap debate. Few experts dispute there’s an earnings gap between men and women, but do disagree on the proper method of measuring that disparity. Still, nearly two-thirds of minimum-wage workers across the country are female, according to the National Women’s Law Center. But women are underrepresented in government, which makes it more difficult to change laws to close the gender gap.
The WalletHub analysis said New York, Minnesota, Maine, Nevada, Hawaii and Delaware are the best states for women’s equality. At the bottom of the ranking are Utah, Idaho, Texas, Arizona and Virginia.
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