Represent Women, a non-partisan group that works to increase the number of female elected officials, ranked the 50 states and gave each a letter grade on their female representation.
New Hampshire came in first place with a B rating, while Utah came in 50th with an F rating. Utah’s poor marks surprised Ronald Schurin, an associate professor-in-residence of political science at the University of Connecticut.
“It is [surprising],” Schurin said. “Utah, even way back in the 1940s, had a female member of the House of Representatives, and Utah has a very high (rate of) political engagement.”
The rankings from Represent Women were based on representation in U.S. Congress, statewide executive offices, statewide legislatures and local cities and counties.
Connecticut received the most points in statewide legislatures and the least amount in local cities and counties. In total, Connecticut scored 22.3 out of 100 points, a five-point dip from last year’s 27.3 out of 100 score. This data has gone up significantly from 1993, when Connecticut received 10.7 out of 100 points.
Schurin said these types of polls have the potential to create change.
“It’s good information for the people,” Schurin said. “It isn’t something that’s going to attract a huge amount of attention, it’s what it reveals.”
Schurin said there is no standard as to what amount of female representation is equal or what would constitute an A rating from the report, especially given No. 1 New Hampshire’s B rating.
“One would say we don’t reach equity until we reach 50%,” Schurin said. “There is no clear standard. The standard would be representation of the population, which is that 50%.”
Luke Hajdasz is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.