Vermont Business Magazine A national security firm has undertaken a new study that found Vermont ranked Number 16 as the best state for women’s rights. Security.org today released the study on The Best and Worst State for Women’s Rights using the most recent data from the US Census Bureau across four key categories: economic freedom, education, health and reproductive freedom, and political participation. Vermont ranked high in education and health, modestly high in economic factors, but low in political success, which ultimately dragged down the state's ranking. The overall rankings generally follow the Red State/Blue State social divide, with Blue States ranking higher in this study.
The state rankings and scores were determined by calculating a total of 12 sets of metrics. Three sets of metrics were used in each of the four categories.
Overall: Vermont women had the No. 16 highest overall score of 50.6%; D.C. had the highest overall score of 65.7%; Louisiana had the lowest overall score of 38.6%; and the national average score was 47.3%.
- 10 Best States for Women’s Rights: D.C., Maine, New Hampshire, Oregon, Iowa, Washington, New Mexico, Hawaii, Nevada and Colorado
- 10 Worst States for Women’s Rights: Louisiana, Arkansas, Utah, Texas, Oklahoma, Mississippi, South Carolina, Indiana, Tennessee, Georgia,
Economic Freedom: The three metrics calculated in this category were -- employment, earnings and business ownership. Vermont had the No. 17 highest score of 78.9% in this category. D.C women had the highest score of 84.70% and Utah had the lowest score of 67.2%.
Education Score: The three metrics calculated in this category were -- high school, college and graduate degrees. Vermont had the No. 3 highest score of 49.7% in this category. D.C women had the highest education score of 59.60% and West Virginia had the lowest score of 38.6%.
Health and Reproductive Freedom: The three metrics calculated in this category were -- mortality rates, lifespans and abortion rights. Vermont women had the No. 3 highest score of 67.1% in this category. New Jersey had the highest score of 67.2% and South Dakota had the lowest score of 28.5%.
Political Participation: The three metrics calculated in this category were -- voter turnout, females in congress and state-level female representation. Vermont women had the No. 40 highest score of 26.2% in this category. D.C women had the highest score of 76.5% and Arkansas had the lowest score of 20.5%.
2020 marks the 100th anniversary of the adoption of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which guaranteed women the right to vote. While women had been permitted to vote in some states and cities, there were no protections on the national level until the 19th Amendment became part of the Constitution on Aug. 26, 1920.
The passage and ratification of the amendment is seen as a pivotal turning point in the women’s rights movement, and while much progress certainly has been made over the past century, women, especially women of color, still face workplace discrimination, make less money on average and are subject to medical restrictions and scrutiny that men are not.
A patchwork of laws and customs exist on the state level in this country, which makes it almost impossible to draw national conclusions about Americans’ views toward how free American women really are. Still half of Americans believe that as a country, we haven’t gone far enough in establishing gender equity. In that same poll, 1 in 10 said they think we’ve gone too far.
Source: San Diego, CA, 6.11.2019. Security.org