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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Eye On Boise

Idaho ranks 50th for status of women

The Institute for Women’s Policy Research has released its “Status of Women in the States: 2015” report, and Idaho came out 50th among the 50 states and Washington, D.C. for employment and earnings, ranking better than only West Virginia. The study, which compares data on poverty and opportunity, violence and safety, health and well-being, reproductive rights, political participation and work and family, found that Idaho ranked 50th for women’s employment and earnings and 48th for reproductive rights, earning F grades in both categories; 43rd for women’s poverty and opportunity, earning a D; and 14th for women’s health and well-being, earning a C+.

Idaho ranked 50th for the percentage of women who own businesses; 50th for the share of women in managerial or professional jobs; 42nd for the percentage of women with health insurance, at 77.7 percent; and 44th for its gender-wage ratio, which showed that women earn 75 percent of what men earn, compared to the national average of 78.3 percent. The state’s best rankings were for its low incidence of AIDS among women, ranking 4th lowest; low incidence of diabetes, ranking 7th; and low rate of lung cancer deaths among women, ranking 8th.

The reports, funded in part by the Ford Foundation, have been issued since 1996 and track data on women at the state, national and international levels. Detailed data is being released each month this spring; the latest showed that in almost every state, women are more likely to experience poor mental health than a decade ago, but less likely to die from heart disease and breast cancer. The full report is online here.

Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

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