March is Women's History Month, and to honor that, WalletHub analyzed a host of information and were able to rank states based on the best and worst places to live if you're a women.
But how true are its rankings? Do the statistics really tell the whole story?
The site used a variety of factors to come up with its rankings, including percentage of women in poverty, life expectancy, homicide rate, unemployment, income and more. Good news for women living in Minnesota, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine and Massachusetts. These five states ranked the best for women, according to WalletHub. At the other end, the states ranking the worst include Alabama, Arkansas, South Carolina and Louisiana. We were curious to hear from women who actually lived in these places to see what the reality on the ground is like for them.
Here's what they had to say:
Coming in at No. 47, Arkansas has some of the lowest voter turnout for women and one of the highest female poverty rates in the nation.
"I live in Little Rock, which is the capital, so I feel like I must be out of touch with women's disengagement from politics in other parts of the state, because I am truly shocked at that chart about women not voting. The women I know in Little Rock are engaged and passionate. I do feel that most of the political leadership at the state level is out of touch with women's needs and issues, and have even testified myself before a Senate committee when they passed the 20-week abortion ban. One thing that I might say women in Arkansas need to be worried about is the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. While under our previous governor, Mike Beebe, we were praised for the 'Private Option' that the state created, it is now under attack by Governor Asa Hutchinson and the Republican-controlled legislature, and many people stand to lose health coverage, possibly bumping us even further down the list." — Sarah Orsborn
With one of the lowest rates of women's life expectancy at birth, Alabama rank No. 48 overall.
"This ranking doesn't surprise me at all. I think the state's overall rate of poverty, conservative politics and resistance to progress will continue to contribute to the gender gap. Right now, for instance, we're experiencing an onslaught of political ads that declare certain people 'too liberal for Alabama.' This resistance to progress and change is baffling to me and, frankly, unacceptable if we want our state to thrive. Birmingham recently attempted to raise the city's minimum wage, and the legislature immediately voided it. I do see progress, though. I work at UAB, the state's largest employer, and the university is raising its minimum wage to $11 in March. People I know are incredibly focused on moving us forward as a city. I see people who are fighting to improve neighborhoods and education, I see amazing women who have achieved success and are taking matters into their own hands in order to create opportunity for others. More than anything, I see a large segment of our community that acknowledges the city's past and is determined to move forward for the good of everyone here. I moved here 12 years ago from Louisiana, and I see far more opportunities here. I know, though, that my experience comes from a place of privilege. I moved here with a college degree for a job at a major magazine. I worry about women who must constantly fight against those who operate based on the idea of 'that's how we've always done it.'" — Amy Bickers
Ranking No. 50, South Carolina has one of the highest rates of female homicide in the country.
"Unfortunately this doesn't surprise me at all, especially in regards to violence against women. You only have to read a small portion of the Pulitzer Prize-winning piece by my local paper ("Til Death Do Us Part") to see how threatened women are in my state. Though our governor did pass measures in 2015 to increase jail sentences for domestic abusers and strip them of their firearms, the gun show loophole still stands, and our women are still dying, especially considering only 18 of our 46 counties have domestic violence shelters. So in short, do I feel safe in S.C. as a woman? Absolutely not." — Arden Ruth Wilson
"I’m only one woman in very demographically and economically diverse state. I’m a middle-class entrepreneur and former Air Force serviceman. Owning [sic] to the fact I spent over a decade working in military service, my barometer may be skewed and tolerance slightly higher than most women. I traversed the U.S. and the globe, and I’ve fallen in love with Charleston, S.C. That is why I’ve planted roots. As a city that prides itself on maintaining a rich history steeped in tradition, that ideology often carries over into the workspace. Men I’ve worked with here have been professional and chivalrous. I don’t believe I’ve been discriminated against based on gender, though it doesn’t hurt to have a man on your arm when trying to conduct business in the Deep South. While this state is still evolving on many levels, I feel its inhabitants are working hard to preserve history without perpetuating it. A challenging task for some, but not impossible." — Stacy Pearsall
Coming in dead last, Louisiana is ranked the worst state in America for women. It has one of the highest rates of poverty for women.
"Louisiana has experienced the largest divestment from education in its history under Jindal. Universities' operations are threatened year after year, and this year the state paused their TOPS scholarship payments, threatening to disrupt the scholarships needed (and earned) by 37% of the students at UL Lafayette. John Bel Edwards, the new governor, gave a live address about the issue, in which he had to threaten that without academic progress made possible without the scholarships, there would be no football next year. This is what it takes to get people to call their legislators and support access to college education." — Maia Butler
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