Sure, you know me from writing this column, but for 28 years I had a radio program dedicated to women’s music, women’s history and women’s news. It was the longest running program of its kind in the country. I write this because I still pay close attention to women in the news and women’s music. Utah’s women have been getting a great deal of recognition as of late, to wit:
- The Utah Women and Leadership Project just released a study that Utah women are voting now more than any election since 2006. This makes female voters in Utah rank now 11th in the nation as women who vote, which is up from 35th in the nation in 2006. This is terrific news but the report states that there are 316,000 women in Utah who have not registered to vote. Whether you’re male or female, it is so simple to register on-line to vote in local and national elections online by going to: vote.utah.gov.
- The flip side of more women voting is the report out that Utah has been found to be the worst state for women’s equality, this time by WalletHub.com in their findings in “2019’s Best & Worst States for Women’s Equality.” How did they determine this? By looking at women’s health and doctor visit affordability, education, number of women in the legislature, income disparity and workplace environment. They also ranked the Beehive State 49th for the largest gap in wages and women holding elected positions. The best state for women’s equality? Maine.
- Another study paid for by Utah’s Young Women’s Christian Association, the Status of Women in the States and the Institute for Women’s Policy Research released a report last month that finds Utah women make 69.8% of what Utah men make which is about 10% lower than the national average. Women who work full time are making $36,300 annually, and white women are making more than Hispanic women. Also, it’s interesting to note that Utah has the highest percentage of women who work part time but these women make less than a third of what their full time female counterparts make. Other findings from this particular report: 1) 90% of Utah women live above the national poverty rate and 2) almost 89% of Utah women have health insurance.
- None of this can change if women don’t get involved in making change happen. Voting is one of the best ways to help make change and improve our state for both sexes. Women’s suffrage was granted here in 1870 years before we became a state. According to Wikipedia, “Among all U.S states, only Wyoming granted suffrage to women earlier than Utah, yet because Utah held two elections before Wyoming, Utah women were the first women in the country to cast ballots in the United States.” Lucky Salt Lakers, two women are running for Mayor of the capitol city.