Louisiana ranks dead last and received an "F" grade in a new report from the Center for American Progress, which ranked each U.S. state by its wage gaps, poverty levels, access to health care, and leadership roles in relation to women.
The reports note that "an increasing number of women are either the sole breadwinner for their family or share the role with their partners" while women make on average only 77 cents for every dollar a man makes — and African American women make 64 cents for every dollar white men make.
Women make up 18 percent of Congress, and 15 states have no female elected leaders in the House of Representatives or the Senate.
In Louisiana, more than 22 percent of women in Louisiana live in poverty — while 36 percent of African American women live in poverty. (The report points out that only 11 percent of women live in poverty in Maryland, listed as the No. 1 state for women.)
The state also received an "F" for health care: 19 percent of women are uninsured, while 23 percent of African American are uninsured, and 35 percent of Hispanic women are uninsured. The state also was ranked poorly for its stance on reproductive rights, including requiring an ultrasound before a doctor performs an abortion and so-called "TARP" laws (targeted regulation of abortion providers), which place arbitrary restrictions on abortion clinics or doctor's offices. Louisiana is one of 28 states with such laws.
The report also ranked Louisiana poorly for not having laws that create programs for paid family leave insurance or temporary disability insurance, nor laws that require employers to allow workers to earn paid sick leave.
As far as leadership, 38.6 percent of Louisiana women hold management positions, while 55.4 percent are African American, 36.3 percent are Hispanic, 44.16 are Asian American, and 27.7 are Native American.