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Tuesday, February 25, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Idaho

Idaho ranks low, Washington fairly high in ‘Status of Women’ report

Idaho ranked 50th and earned an “F” grade for women’s employment and earnings in a new report on the status of women in the states, while Washington ranked 17th and earned a B-minus.

The report, from the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, compares data on poverty and opportunity, violence and safety, health and well-being, reproductive rights and more. Only West Virginia scored worse than Idaho in the employment and earnings section of the study, which has been compiled since 1996 and includes all 50 states plus the District of Columbia.

The report 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+.

Washington, meanwhile, earned all B’s and C’s, ranking 17th for employment and earnings, 15th for women’s poverty and opportunity, 10th for reproductive rights and tying with Idaho at 14th for health and well-being.

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 a national average of 78.3 percent. The state’s best rankings were for its low incidence of AIDS among women, ranking 4th lowest; incidence of diabetes, ranking 7th; and low rate of lung cancer deaths among women, ranking 8th.

Washington ranked 15th for its percentage of women who own businesses; 16th for its share of women in managerial or professional jobs; 29th for women having health insurance, at 82.1 percent; and 28th for its gender-wage ratio of 77.9 percent.

Washington’s best rankings were sixth-lowest for heart disease mortality among women; 11th-lowest for incidence of diabetes; and 10th for reproductive rights, earning a B-plus.

Partly funded by the Ford Foundation, the “Status of Women in the States: 2015” report found that in almost every state, women are more likely to experience poor mental health than when the last study was conducted in 2004, but less likely to die from heart disease and breast cancer.

The report also found that women have higher rates of poverty and lower rates of business ownership in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, despite increasing numbers of women earning college degrees.

“Despite their significant educational progress, women remain more economically vulnerable than men,” said Heidi Hartmann, president of the institute, who noted that that’s especially true for “millenials,” the youngest age group among adults.

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