A report issued this week by personal finance website WalletHub puts Texas near the bottom for women’s equity issues in the U. S.
The report looks at equity issues in political representation, imbalanced workplace environments, and earnings gaps. It places Texas 47th overall. The state’s worst individual showing was in empowerment for women. Texas placed higher than only three states – Tennessee, South Carolina, and Louisiana.
Dr. Sharon Kowalsky, associate professor of history and director of the gender studies program at Texas A&M University-Commerce, says underrepresentation among lawmakers has been a self-fulfilling issue.
"Because women aren’t in legislatures, aren’t as represented in proportion to their part of the population, that these issues haven’t been addressed is not surprising," she says.
Most of the states ranked in the bottom third on WalletHub’s list are in the South. Kowalsky says equity disparities probably have to do with the region’s long-engrained culture.
"Perhaps it is a legacy of the good-ol-boys networks in the South and the way that Southern politics had been run,"she says. "And a strong commitment to tradition and traditional patriarchal hierarchies in the South."
Texas’ best showing in the study was in workplace equity. The state ranked 37th in that category.