It comes as no surprise that Oklahoma is ranked as one of the worst states for women in the nation.
The Center for American Progress has given our state an F and an overall ranking of 48 among all states when it comes to the welfare of women. It also ranks Oklahoma as last in the country when it comes to women’s health.
The report deals with overall economic, leadership and health issues across the nation and in individual states. Along with its dismal health ranking, Oklahoma is listed as 41st in the nation in terms of leadership, according to the report. The state does better when it comes to women’s economic well-being. It’s ranked 18th.
In general, according to the report, most of the southern tier states are ranked dismally low when it comes to women’s welfare.
Here’s the gist of the organization’s report.
Although an increasing number of women are either the sole breadwinner for their family or share the role with their partners, women in the United States are paid only 77 cents for every dollar a man makes. The pay gap is even larger for women of color. On average, African American women make 64 cents for every dollar that white men make. While 2012 was a watershed year for women in terms of getting elected to public office, women still comprise only 18.1 percent of Congress, despite making up more than half of the U.S. population. They also face challenges on health issues, as 2012 saw continued conservative efforts to erode women’s ability to make their own decisions about their health and well-being.
Oklahoma’s poor health ranking for women should be of grave concern here. Gov. Mary Fallin’s decision to refuse Medicaid expansion for poor people and diminishing reproductive rights for women here are two major factors. There is also Oklahoma’s poor medical access, which affects everyone here.
I know this is just yet one more report among a slew of reports that shows Oklahoma is not a good place to live, but I think it’s an important one. Women still face major discrimination throughout the world, and Oklahoma is the perfect example of it. This bears repeating often, even though it’s so obvious.