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A new report has determined where women have it best in the United States. A non-profit organization, the Institute for
Women's Policy Research published its findings from a 7-part series that
studied how different issues for women are ranked in each state.
The "Status of Women in the States" series focuses on gender
inequality issues. "The way politics are structured in the U.S., if you want
to make an impact, it helps if you have the data," said Ariane
Hegewisch, study director at the Institute in the Washington Post. "So the
purpose was to pull the data down to the state level, at least, to help people
concerned about addressing gender issues to make their case."
The IWPR looked at political participation, reproductive
rights, work-family balance, health and well-being, violence and safety,
employment earnings and poverty levels of women in America.
The results of the study do not differ much from the same
reports that were conducted in 2004. Inequality still exists in almost every
topic graded by the IWPR.
"As you can still see with the results now, when you look at
policy and basic socio-economic indicators, trends are different for women and
men, and the differences haven't really diminished very much," Hegewisch said.
When tallying the results from all studies conducted,
Minnesota was named the best state overall for women's issues. Other
top-ranking states include Vermont, Rhode Island, California and Oregon.
Many of the highest-ranked states were either in New
England, the Midwest or on the west coast. The lowest-ranked states were found
mainly in the South.
Mississippi and Alabama tied for the worst states overall
for women in America.