The Hartford Courant, April 2, 2012
By Janice Podsada
Top public officials on Monday hailed Connecticut’s ranking as the “Best State for Women” in a listing by iVillage.com, a high-traffic website that covers a broad range of topics including Hollywood, beauty, health, parenting and sexual techniques.
iVillage looked at factors including healthcare coverage, access to affordable childcare, educational attainment, economic success and the percentage of women in elected office, and then scored each state on a scale of one to 10.
With a score of 8.9 Connecticut took first place, followed by Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts and California. Connecticut scored high forwomen’s healthcare coverage, financial success and educational attainment with more than one-third of women, 35 percent, in possession of a four-year college degree compared to the national average of 28 percent, iVillage reported.
The website did not reveal its scoring system, and in some cases relied on breezy analysis based on how many servings of fruits and vegetables women in a particular state ate to round out the rankings.
“They took an umbrella approach,” said Teresa Younger, executive director of the Permanent Commission on the Status of Women. “But the sources they used in their ranking were authoritative.”
Maryland, which scored 8.2., apparently lost points because “more than 60 percent of women there are overweight.”
“I’m thrilled to be here today on the day Connecticut is named the best state for women,” said Julie Tabor, president of Planned Parenthood of Southern New England. “According to the report by iVillage, 90 percent of women and girls here have health coverage.”
The “worst” states for women were Kentucky, West Virginia, Arkansas, Oklahoma and Mississippi — some of the lowest-income states. Women in the bottom five states had some of the highest rates of poverty, lacked access to basic healthcare and had the lowest educational attainment and lowest wages.
“I’m happy to celebrate being No. 1, but when it comes to women’s issues we still have a health care gap. We still have income inequality,” Sen. Toni N. Harp, a New Haven Democrat, said.
Sen. Richard Blumenthal was among those attending the announcement.
Some participants, including Younger, said they had not seen the iVillage home page..