The 10 Worst States for Women

10. Georgia
> Wage gap: 81 cents per dollar (11th highest)
> Poverty rate, women and girls: 20.6% (7th highest)
> Pct. in state legislature: 22.9% (tied for 22nd lowest)
> Infant mortality rate: 6.4 per 1,000 births (25th highest)

Economic security for women in the state is serious problem. More than one in five women in Georgia were living in poverty in 2012. Of the states rated the worst by CAP, Georgia was the only one without state restrictions targeting abortion providers, or “TRAP” laws. TRAP laws are often so strict that they can shut down most abortion clinics in a state because the requirements placed on them can be higher than other medical facilities performing other outpatient surgeries. According to CAP, this can have a negative impact on women’s overall health. Reproductive health is dismal in the state. For every 100,000 live births in Georgia in 2010, more than 20 mothers died, the second highest maternal mortality rate in the country at the time.

ALSO READ: Women’s Poverty, by the Numbers

9. Indiana
> Wage gap: 73 cents per dollar (6th lowest)
> Poverty rate, women and girls: 16.8% (25th highest)
> Pct. in state legislature: 20.7% (17th lowest)
> Infant mortality rate: 7.6 per 1,000 births (6th highest)

As of 2012, women in Indiana earned only about three-quarters of what men made. Despite the pay disparity, the percentage of women serving in public office was slightly better in Indiana than in more than half of all states. But more women in leadership roles does not necessarily translate to state programs supporting women. Indiana is among the states that does not offer pre-kindergarten programs for children under five. This means there is more unpaid labor raising children in the state, and in the United States, this work still tends to be disproportionately carried out by women. The state received a low grade for women’s health issues. As of 2010, Indiana had one of the worst rates of infant mortality in the country.

8. South Dakota
> Wage gap: 78 cents per dollar (tied for 23rd highest)
> Poverty rate, women and girls: 14.50% (tied for 18th lowest)
> Pct. in state legislature: 22.9% (tied for 22nd lowest)
> Infant mortality rate: 6.9 per 1,000 births (16th highest)

In 2012, women held just 30.7% of management roles in South Dakota, less than in any other state except neighboring North Dakota. Although leadership positions in the state’s private sector were unlikely to be filled by women, South Dakota fared much better electing female representatives to Congress. Last year, it was among the states with the highest percentage of women occupying seats in Congress. Along with two male senators, the state also elected a woman, Kristi Noem, as its sole representative to the House.

7. Arkansas
> Wage gap: 77 cents per dollar (tied for 17th lowest)
> Poverty rate, women and girls: 21.60% (4th highest)
> Pct. in state legislature: 17.0% (10th lowest)
> Infant mortality rate: 7.3 per 1,000 births (10th highest)

As of 2012, all the elected offices in the Arkansas executive branch of government were occupied by men. Of the state’s two senators and four representatives in Congress, none are women. Even in the Arkansas legislature, women are scarce, representing only 17% of seats last year. Women in Arkansas are not finding much success in the private sector either, with fewer than 40% of managerial jobs in the state held by women. Although the state rates poorly for failing to provide women with leadership roles, it actually performed quite well for women’s economic security.

6. Texas
> Wage gap: 79 cents per dollar (tied for 17th highest)
> Poverty rate, women and girls: 19.40% (11th highest)
> Pct. in state legislature: 21.0% (18th lowest)
> Infant mortality rate: 6.1 per 1,000 births (23rd lowest)

Excluding the elderly population, nearly one-quarter of all women in Texas were uninsured as of 2012, the highest rate in the country. This likely contributed to Texas receiving one of the worst ratings from CAP for women’s health issues. The state also imposes heavy restrictions on reproductive rights, which has recently been the source of a well-publicized debate. In July, Governor Rick Perry signed an abortion-limiting bill that has sparked protests and lawsuits filed by groups like Planned Parenthood and the ACLU. Texas rated worse than just over half of all states for women’s economic security. According to the CAP study, if the minimum wage were increased to $10.10 by 2015, more than 1.6 million women in Texas would benefit from the change.