According to a new national study, it’s not the best time to be a woman in Indiana. The Institute for Women’s Policy Research released a new report, Status of Women in the States, and Hoosiers got a lot of bad grades.
Indiana got D’s in employment and earnings, and poverty and opportunity, being ranked 43rd and 39th in the country respectively. The state received D+’s in reproductive rights, and health and well-being, ranking 42nd and 37th respectively. Lastly, Hoosiers were ranked 20th in the country for political participation with a C-.
“To be honest with you, I’m not very surprised,” said Indiana Institute for Working Families Policy Analyst Erin Macey, who found the report upsetting. “We need to make women more of a priority and a focus. Obviously our work places have changed dramatically over time, but our policies haven’t really caught up. I think the attention is there. The lawmakers just need to feel the pressure to do something about it.”
In this year’s state legislative session, two pro-women pieces of legislation were proposed but neither got a hearing. One was to combat unequal pay of men and women. The other would require employers to provide family leave accommodations for pregnant women.
State representatives Terri Austin and Phil GiaQuinta said citizens will have to raise their voices even louder to get the legislature to do more to increase quality of life for women in Indiana.
“We need to make sure that when people decide to vote, and in particular when women decide to vote that they look for candidates who will support women’s access to a robust range of services,” Austin said.
“The focus of past governors has become the most business friendly state in the country and I think it’s now time that we turn our effort to become the most friendly for workers and that obviously includes women workers,” GiaQuinta explained.