Source: iVillage.com, Published March 26 2012
Hot Topic: Minnesota ranks No.8, North Dakota No. 37 on iVillage list of best states for womenIn the lead up to the 2012 election, the women’s website iVillage.com counted down all 50 U.S. states from the best to worst for women.
Minnesota came in toward the top of the list at No. 8, while North Dakota ranked in the lower half at 37th.
In creating their rankings, iVillage analyzed health care and reproductive rights as well as economic success, access to affordable child care, female representation in government and educational attainment.
Here’s iVillage’s findings on Minnesota:
“When it comes to healthy living, Minnesota women trump their Midwestern neighbors,” the site says.
Good news: In Minnesota, 46 percent of women are a healthy weight. The U.S. average is 40 percent. Only 10 percent lack health insurance, and because of that, an impressive 81 percent of women have had pap smears in the past three years. An equal percentage of women over 40 have had a mammogram.
Twelve percent of women live in poverty, which is lower than the national average of 14.5 percent, and there is female representation in both houses of Congress: Sen. Amy Klobuchar D-Minn., and Reps. Betty McCullom, D-Minn. and Michele Bachmann R-Minn.
Bad news: Minnesota has the nation’s third-highest childcare costs: $12,900 per year for an infant.
Women own fewer businesses here than the national average: 26.8 vs. 28.7 percent.
Choice is limited in Minnesota, where 95 percent of counties have no abortion provider and women are required to wait 24 hours after seeing their doctor before having the procedure done.
And what about North Dakota?
“ ‘Women in Power’ is a foreign term in North Dakota, both in politics and business,” the site says.
Good news: Nearly 90 percent of women have health insurance and more than three-quarters of women get regular exercise.
A district court judge struck down a state law that would have made abortions even harder to get by banning medication that ends a pregnancy.
North Dakota has only one clinic that provides abortions and a quarter of all abortions are by prescription medication rather than a surgical procedure.
Bad news: North Dakota has only ever sent one woman to congress, Sen. Jocelyn Birch Burdick, and she only served for one year in 1992.
Just 15 percent of the state legislature is female, one of the country’s lowest proportions. And only one in four businesses is woman-owned, putting North Dakota in the bottom five of all states.
What SheSays: Don’t agree with the website’s findings? The election in November is your opportunity to make your voice heard on what you value as a woman in your state.