The Center for American Progress recently released The State of Women Report, which looks at how women are faring in all 50 states. Using 36 factors in categories such as economics, leadership and health, The Center for American Progress ranked each state. While Maryland was ranked the best state for women, Ohio ranked low, with a 30 and was given a grade of a C-.
Ohio received a C for economic security. Ohio women continue to make 77 cents for every dollar men make. Hispanic women only make 64 cents for every dollar a white male makes. 18 percent of Ohio women live in poverty. This alarming statistic means Ohio has the 19th highest poverty rate for women. Additionally Ohio does not have a policy allowing for paid medical, family or temporary disability leave.
When ranked on leadership factors, Ohio ranked 37th and scored a D. With only one female statewide elected official and only 23.5% of seats in the state legislature held by women, Ohio has a female leadership gap. And even though women make up 52% of Ohio’s population, only 37.2% of the managerial jobs are held by women.
Ohio also scored poorly on health care issues, ranking 30th and receiving a grade of a C-. 12.5% of non-elederly Ohio women remain uninsured and yet the Ohio legislature refuses to expand Medicaid. Medicaid expansion would provide insurance for 256,000 women. On top of this the Ohio legislature continues to pass measures that restrict a woman’s access to reproductive healthcare.
Ohio also has the 4th highest infant mortality rate in the nation. Ohio has 7.7 deaths for every 1000 infants. Despite repeated lip service to the need to reduce the infant mortality rate, little has been done to actually impact this statistic.
Overall Ohio politicians would be wise to focus on a police agenda that promotes and supports women, working to move Ohio up from this dismal ranking.