Study: SC One of the Worst States for Women's Equality

South Carolina was ranked near the bottom of the nation in another national survey.

This one centers on women's equality, with the state placing 47th in the nation, according to the personal finance website WalletHub.

The state fared poorly in the WalletHub analysis particularly on women's access to health care and political representation by women.

South Carolina, for instance, was 48th in the nation in women's "Political Empowerment," a category that looked at the number of women elected to federal and state office in South Carolina.

South Carolina has no women in the U.S. House and Senate and relatively few in the state House and Senate.

The state was 47th in the nation in women's education and health care, according to the study.

That category looked at disparities in educational attainment (including the percentage of women with bachelor's degrees or higher) and the percentage of women who could not afford a doctor's visit.

South Carolina was 49th in "Largest Educational Attainment Gap" between men and women and 48th in "Largest Political Representation Gap" between men and women, the WalletHub analysis said.

The study arrives just in time for Saturday's Women's Equality Day, which commemorates the day the 19th Amendment granted women the right to vote. The amendment was certified on August 26, 1920. The holiday began in 1971, when Congress officially declared August 26 a celebration of women’s suffrage.

Among the last

Other studies this year have placed South Carolina among the last states in the nation in education, health care, and the well-being of women and children.

A WalletHub analysis from February, for instance, ranked South Carolina 48th in the nation in women's safety and economic well-being.

In that earlier survey, only Mississippi was worse than South Carolina in the category of "Women's Economic and Social Well-Being," which included measurements of women's wages, unemployment among women, school dropout rates and the share of women living in poverty and unable to afford health care.

That study said that Democratically led states are "more women-friendly" than Republican-controlled states.

A much-discussed U.S. News and World Report study this year, meanwhile, ranked South Carolina dead last in education, although educators dispute the methodology of the analysis.

The annual Kids Count report ranked South Carolina 39th in the nation in children's well-being. That report looked at a few dozen indicators, such as dropout rates, math and reading test scores, drug use, the percentage of single-parent families and the percentage of South Carolina children living in poverty, Yet another recent WalletHub analysis pegged South Carolina as 7th worst in the nation for overall health care. That survey looked at 35 indicators, including the affordability and accessibility of health care, infant mortality rates, life expectancy, and the number of health care providers per capita.

One bright spot

The more recent WalletHub study, released Tuesday, "compared the 50 states across 15 key indicators of gender equality. Our data set ranges from the gap between female and male executives to the disparity in unemployment rates for women and men."

In the latest WalletHub analysis, only Texas, Virginia and Utah fared worse than South Carolina in women's equality.

The top three states in the WalletHub study were Hawaii, Nevada and Illinois.

One bright spot in the survey: South Carolina was ranked ninth in the nation on "workplace environment," a category that considered income disparities, women's unemployment rates and women entrepreneurship.

Paul Hyde covers education and everything else under the South Carolina sun. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter: @PaulHyde7.

© Gannett Co., Inc. 2017. All Rights Reserved


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