Sunday, January 25, 2015

Happy "Women's Equality Day"...just not so much in PA

Women's equality is celebrated across the nation today but serves as a reminder of work to be done in Pennsylvania.

Happy "Women's Equality Day"...just not so much in PA

Hey, it's "Women's Equality Day!"

The White House says so with a proclamation. And a whole bunch of women candidates were scheduled to say so at the state Capitol this afternoon.

But here in Pennsylvania, birthplace of the nation, keystone of the colonies, home of the Declaration of Independence, well, the numbers really don't say so.

The day, by the way, marks the 94th anniversary of certification of the 19th Amendment giving women the right to vote.

Yep, on August 26, 1920, the amendment was certified by President Wilson's secretary of state, Bainbridge Colby.

So, creeping up on a century since, how's good ole PA doing?

Still holding it's evidently cherished spot as the least progressive northeastern state.

Yessir. Pick your measurement.

Women in politics?

PA's percentage of women in the Legislature -- worst in the north and worst among neighboring states (save for by-God West Virginia) -- ranks us 38th in the nation, according to the Rutgers Center for Women in Politics.

Economic equality?

Even worse. WalletHUB, a personal finance website, uses Census Bureau data and more to track gender disparity and finds (tada!) PA is last among northeastern states and last among our neighbors (including by-God West Virginia). We rank 42nd in the nation.

So, Pennsylvania women, enjoy "Women's Equality Day" -- if not actual equality.



John Baer Daily News Political Columnist
About this blog
John Baer has been covering politics and government for the Daily News since 1987. The National Journal in 2002 called Baer one of the country's top 10 political journalists outside Washington, saying Baer has, "the ability to take the skin off a politician without making it hurt too much." E-mail John at

John is the author of the book "On The Front Lines of Pennsylvania Politics: Twenty-Five Years of Keystone Reporting" (The History Press, 2012). Reach John at

John Baer Daily News Political Columnist
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