March is National Women’s Month and today, March 8, is International Women’s Day. But that’s small comfort to the several million women who left the workforce since the pandemic was declared a year ago.
On top of the pay gap (yes, a woman still earns 82 cents for every dollar a man is paid), the motherhood penalty (moms earn less than dads and are penalized for caretaking responsibilities) and the preponderance of women, primarily of color, working essential, hourly wage or shift-work jobs, women’s economic, physical and emotional security has never been more precarious.
But there is some good news … at least for women in Washington. According to a recent WalletHub study ranking the best and worst states for women, we — those of us in the District — enjoy the third-highest ranking in economic and social well-being, the number-one position in median earnings, the highest number of voters (in 2016) and the second-lowest uninsured rates. D.C. was ranked the fifth-best state overall for women.
No surprise that blue states are more woman-friendly than red states, or that states with the lowest rates of life expectancy, graduation from high school and, sadly, highest levels of poverty are concentrated in the South and Southwest.
D.C. may not be an official state — yet. But we are fortunate to have women in leadership positions from the top levels of city government to grassroots neighborhood organizations, where women of all ages, ethnicities and educational backgrounds leverage their passions and lived experience to empower, inspire and work for the well-being of us all.
Long may they reign.