Women in Utah | Urban Living
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Women in Utah

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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 found Utah women are voting more now than in any election since 2006. This ranks female voters in Utah 11th in the nation for women who vote, up from 35th in the nation in 2006. This is terrific news, but the report states there are 316,000 women in Utah who have not registered to vote. Whether you're male or female, it's so simple to register to vote in local and national elections. Go to vote.utah.gov for more information.

The flip side of more women voting is WalletHub's 2019's Best & Worst States for Women's Equality report that found Utah to be the worst state 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 funded by Utah's Young Women's Christian Association, the Status of Women in the States and the Institute for Women's Policy Research 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 an average $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 they make less than a third of what their full-time female counterparts make. Other findings: 90% of Utah women live above the national poverty rate and almost 89% of Utah women have health insurance.

None of this can change if women don't get involved. Voting is one of the best ways to alter the status quo and improve conditions for both sexes. Women's suffrage was granted here in 1870, years before Utah became a state. Lucky for Salt Lakers today, two women are running for mayor of the capital city.

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