Ohio and Kentucky are near mirror images in the political and economic status of their women. Though we've made gains, we still have some catching up to do.
Women make up just over half of both states' populations but are underrepresented in elected office, earn less than their male counterparts, are more likely to be poor and less likely to earn a college degree than women in other states.
In Ohio, women make up just 15 percent of the state Senate and 18 percent of the state House. Both of Ohio's U.S Senators are men, and just 27 percent of Ohio's Congressional delegation are women. Women hold two of the state's six top executive offices, auditor and secretary of state.
In Kentucky, women make up 7.6 percent of the state senate and 9 percent of the state House. There are no women in Kentucky's U.S. Senate or Congressional delegations. And of the top executive offices, there is one woman out of eight (auditor).
The respected Institute for Women's Policy research, based in Washington, D.C., ranked both states near the bottom for women in a number of key economic, educational and social indicators.
The nonprofit's research in both states showed that when women do make gains they aren't shared across the board. Women of color often fall behind white women in earning power, college degree attainment and quality of health care.
The individual state reports, last updated in 2004, say both state's women "would benefit from stronger enforcements of equal opportunity laws, better political representation, adequate and affordable childcare and other policies that would help improve their status."
Among the findings were:
Women's Voter Registration: 66.3 percent registered (National rank: 30)
Women's Voter Turnout: 52.5 percent voted (National rank: 23)
Women's Median Annual Earnings: $30,000 (National rank: 20)
Ratio of Women's to Men's Earnings: 72.1 percent (National rank: 41)
Women in Managerial and Professional Occupations: 32.1 percent (National rank: 26)
Percent of Women with Four or More Years of College: 19.4 percent (National rank: 39)
Percent of Women Above the Poverty Level: 89 percent (National rank: 24)
Women's Voter Registration: 67.8 percent registered (National Rank: 21)
Women's Voter Turnout: 49.6 percent voted (National rank: 34)
Women's Median Annual Earnings: $27,000 (National rank: 33)
Ratio of Women's to Men's Earnings: 74.2 percent (National rank: 31)
Women in Managerial and Professional Occupations: 32.2 percent (National rank: 25)
Percent of Women with Four or More Years of College: 16.4 percent (National rank: 49)
Percent of Women Above the Poverty Level: 86.5 percent (National rank: 36)