the lives of women
6:01 am
Thu September 26, 2013

Wash. State One of 10 Most Women-Friendly States in U.S.

Good news, women of Washington!

Washington state is one of 10 best places for women to live in the U.S., according to a report by the Center for American Progress.

The report, titled "The State of Women in America," examined how women are faring across the country based on three criteria: economic security, leadership, and health, then issued a grade for each category as well as an overall grade for the state. With an overall grade of A-, Washington ranked 10th.

Washington earned a B+ in the economic security category, which included factors like the wage gap ($0.78 for every $1 in Washington state), paid family leave law, the poverty rate, and the percentage of 4-year-olds enrolled in pre-kindergarten.

In the leadership category, which looked at the number of women holding public office and management positions, Washington earned a B.

Washington earned a B+ in the health category, which considered state laws on ultrasounds and abortions, the number of uninsured women, the number of women for every OB/GYN physician, and the mortality rates of both infants and mothers.

Maryland, Hawaii, and Vermont topped the list. California ranked fourth, Oregon 16th, and Idaho 36th.  Louisiana ranked last. 

"Despite the advancements made by women over the past few decades, it is still difficult for women to get ahead and not just get by," the report said, pointing to the disparities that exist among states. "Women in Vermont, for example, make on average close to 85 cents for every dollar a man makes, while women in Wyoming make only 64 cents—more than 25 percent less than women in Vermont.

"On leadership, 15 states have no female elected leaders in the House of Representatives or the Senate. Lastly, while less than 10 percent of women in Vermont, Wisconsin, Hawaii, and Massachusetts are uninsured, nearly 25 percent of women in Texas do not have health insurance."

The Center for American Progress is a nonpartisan educational institute based in Washington, D.C.