When it comes to women's equality, Georgia ranks among the worst states in the nation.
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That's according to personal finance site WalletHub's latest ranking for which researchers compared a variety of relevant factors in all 50 states to determine the best and worst states for gender equality.
Analysts compared the states across three key dimensions: 1) workplace environment, 2) education and health and 3) political empowerment — measured by 15 relevant metrics such as income disparity, educational-attainment disparity and disparity in share of lawmakers in government.
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Data used for the ranking came from a variety of sources, including the U.S. Census Bureau, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and more.
The best state for women’s equality in 2017, according to WalletHub, is Hawaii, which also ranked first in the education and health dimension.
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Utah came in dead last on the overall list and in the education and health dimension.
Georgia, which was named the sixth-worst state for women based on economic, social and safety measures in a previous WalletHub ranking this year, came in at No. 46 on this national list.
Here’s more on how Georgia fared:
- Overall rank: 46 (fifth worst)
- Workplace environment: 45 (sixth worst)
- Education and health: 34
- Political empowerment: 46 (fifth worst)
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When it comes to the nation’s vast gender gap in political empowerment — the U.S. ranks 73rd globally — American women “play like a minority, even though they are the majority,” still fear being called a feminist, tend to scrutinize female candidates more harshly than their male counterparts and still overhwhelmingly believe leadership should be male, Gail Evans, lecturer in the Scheller College of Business at Georgia Tech said in response to the ranking.
To help close the gap, Evans suggests fighting such notions.
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Another Georgia expert cited by WalletHub, Roxanne Donovan, said the results further show how the gender gap across all dimensions is a result of “complex interwoven factors” including cultural norms and institutional practices that disproportionately benefit men over women.
Closing the gender gaps “requires closing the cultural gap between how men and women are viewed and valued,” Donovan, professor of psychology and interdisciplinary studies at Kennesaw State University, said.
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In addition to establishing a national paid parental leave policy, Donovan calls for mandated federal policies for a livable wage, guaranteed minimum income, universal health care and more to help alleviate the gaps.
The top five best and worst states for women’s equality, according to WalletHub:
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- South Carolina
More about the study and its methodology at WalletHub.com.