women’s rights

A recent study released by Security.org ranks the 50 states in the U.S. as well as Washington D.C. from best to worst in women’s rights and freedoms across four key categories, and it puts Oklahoma at number 47 overall.

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 of economic freedom, education, health and reproductive freedom and political participation.

With a score of 40.6 percent, Oklahoma was only two percent higher than the state with the lowest overall score, Louisiana; 25.1 percent lower than the state with the highest, Washington D.C.; and about 6.7 percent lower than the national average score.

In economic freedom, which is broken up into employment, earnings and business ownership, Oklahoma ranked 45th with 75.2 percent.

The results were found by looking at the median earnings of women relative to the overall median individual earnings in each state in employed women over the age of 16.

“Economic freedom is related to having the individual means to make your own decisions about your everyday life without the financial influence of someone else,” said Security.org’s webpage. “Women who lack employment or have low income levels are largely unable to make crucial decisions for themselves.”

Oklahoma ranked 43rd, with a score of 40.7 percent, in education, broken down into high school, college and graduate degrees.

They looked at the percentage of women with high school diplomas or equivalent, bachelor’s degrees and women over 25 with graduate or professional degrees.

“If income is the single biggest predictor of a person’s quality of life, education is surely close behind,” Security.org said. “After all, those with higher levels of educational attainment tend to make more money over the course of their lives.”

In health and reproductive freedom, with the metrics of mortality rates, lifespans and abortion rights, Oklahoma takes number 46 on the list with a score of 35.4 percent.

Security.org looked at women’s lifespans compared to the state median, maternal mortality rates and restrictions on abortion rights.

“The biological differences between men and women create some varying health concerns,” Security.org said. “After all, men can’t get pregnant, so issues related to maternal health or reproductive rights are less of a clear-and-present concern for those without uteruses.”

Finally, Oklahoma ranked 39th in political participation with a score of 26.6 percent. This category includes the calculated metrics of voter turnout, females in congress and state-level female representation.

For this section, Security.org included the percentage of women who voted in the past two national elections, the percentage of Congress that’s female and the percentage of state-level representation that’s female, including state legislators and governors.

The top 10 best states overall were Washington D.C., Maine, New Hampshire, Oregon, Iowa, Washington, New Mexico, Hawaii, Nevada and Colorado. The 10 worst states were Louisiana, Arkansas, Utah, Texas, Oklahoma, Mississippi, South Carolina, Indiana, Tennessee and Georgia.