This Is The Best State To Call Home If You're A Woman

"The quality of women's lives is somewhat determined by inequality in government."

The gender wage gap is still alive and well in America in 2017 but it turns out women residing in certain states have a (somewhat) easier time than their female friends who live elsewhere.

A comprehensive study conducted by MoveHub used a myriad of data and studied several factors in order to determine which U.S. states offer the best quality of life for those of us with two X chromosomes. 

The factors examined from all 50 states included the gender pay gap, political representation in the state legislature, education equality, access to health insurance, reproductive rights, and number of incidents of violence against women by men. Rankings for each factor were then combined to give each state an overall composite score.

Interestingly enough, (though perhaps not all that surprising) the study found a correlation between political representation and quality of life for women. In other words, states with little or no female representation in the state legislature tended to score lower on factors like equal pay and women's reproductive rights, while states with women in government received higher marks on such factors.



She Should Run

This makes a strong case for the necessity of women in all levels of government, and it warms our hearts to know that the fear and anger many women (and others) felt in late 2016 has translated into an increase of women getting involved in government. 

Case in point: She Should Run, a nonpartisan group founded in 2008 that aids women who are interested in running for elected office, normally sees between 100 and 200 women sign up for a program or request more information after an election. However, since the 2016 election a whopping 6,000 women have contacted the organization or been nominated by others as potential candidates. 

But where should you move for the best quality of life in the meantime? The study found Hawaii was the top performer when it came to women's health and well-being. In the Aloha State, only six percent of the female population do not have health insurance, and only 0.14 per 100,000 females were murdered by men. Vermont, Minnesota, Illinois, and Maryland rounded out the top five best states.

Conversely, Oklahoma was named the worst state for women in 2017, followed closely by Louisiana, Utah, Mississippi, and South Carolina.

Since Oklahoma lawmakers seem really keen on particularly cruel anti-abortion bills — one that was recently introduced would require women seeking an abortion to get written approval from their partners first — and one Republican Rep. in Oklahoma called women "hosts," we're not surprised that state isn't exactly hospitable for women.

In Louisiana, it's more of the same. There are only five clinics operating in the entire state, and even then a woman faces serious hurdles should she want an abortion. For starters, Louisiana law requires a woman have an ultrasound before obtaining an abortion, during which the provider must show and describe the image presented.

Cover image via Shutterstock / Benjamin van der Spek.

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