North Dakota Ranked One of the Worst States for Women

EMILY BEAMAN | THE SPECTRUM
EMILY BEAMAN | THE SPECTRUM

24/7 Wall St. published an article last week stating North Dakota is one the worst states for women.

According to the article, recently released data from the Census Bureau states that although women make up half of the workforce in the U.S., women were paid only 79 cents for every dollar men made.

In North Dakota, women make 70 cents for every dollar men made, the fifth worst in the country.

Women in North Dakota earned a median of just less than $35,000 in 2013, nearly $15,000 below a typical man’s earnings.

The magnitude of the gender wage gap may be due to the relatively small proportion of women in management positions. Women held just 28.3 percent of such positions in 2013, the lowest rate in the country.

“With so few women in management positions, women aren’t able to network with other women, and networking plays a big role in hiring, especially in management positions.” said Ann Burnett, director of the women and gender studies program at North Dakota State.

For women who choose to have children, North Dakota does not require employers to offer paid maternity leave.

Additionally, the state is one of 10 states that does not provide funding for state preschool.

“In some ways, it’ll take a cultural shift, which appears to move very slowly in North Dakota,” Burnett said.

With Measure 1 on the November ballot, more women in the state are feeling restricted.

The official ballot text states to protect “the inalienable right to life of every human being at any stage of development.”

People opposed to the ballot believe the measure to be poorly written, which allows the unclear language open to interpretation that may lead to more government intrusion into women’s medical needs.

Christine McClellan, an NDSU student, is worried that legislature is going to try attacking women’s health issues.

“If it passes, women’s reproductive health is in danger, and that makes me mad,” McClellan said.

Emily Ramstad, public relations officer for the NDSU Women’s Activist Organization, acknowledges that the measure is just another example of gender inequality in the state of North Dakota.

“There would never be a measure that restricts the kind of medical procedures men can receive, however, there has been many attempts at restricting women’s medical procedures.”

One Reply to “North Dakota Ranked One of the Worst States for Women”

  1. I think it’s great that women aren’t required to be paid maternity leave. If an employer is required to pay for when an employee is not working, that’s theft. Even if it’s the government forcing the employer to pay, it’s still left.

    And providing funding for preschool? Same deal there.

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