Report says Indiana ranks low for economic status of women

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL - MARCH 14: Elana Goodman joins with other protesters to ask that woman be given the chance to have equal pay as their male co-workers on March 14, 2017 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

INDIANAPOLIS — An Institute for Women’s Policy Research report ranked Indiana in the bottom third of the country for the economic status of women.

The institute’s the Status of Women in the States report examines six areas: employment and earnings; political participation; poverty and opportunity; reproductive rights; health and well-being; and work and family.

Indiana received an overall grade of D for the third consecutive year. Indiana ranks last in the U.S. in the work and family category, with a grade of F. The state’s highest grade was a C-minus for political participation.

The legislation this session that targeted issues that are important to families failed to gain real traction, said Erin Macey, a policy analyst for the Indiana Institute for Working Families. Bills addressed Indiana’s equal pay law, workplace accommodations for pregnant women, increases to the minimum wage, and a paid family leave program.

“I’m looking forward to at a minimum at least engaging in dialogue about these kinds of bills, the kind of bills that we passed on this session,” Macey said. “But they didn’t even get a hearing. That’s really surprising and is something that needs to change.”

Indiana Republican Party National Committeewoman Anne Hathaway said the report doesn’t provide the full picture.

Hathaway noted the state’s coding education program for offenders at the Indiana Women’s Prison and further expansion of the state’s pre-K program.

The governor’s new parent leave policy gives new parents up to four weeks of paid leave and there are a growing number of women getting involved in public service in the state, she said.

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