Another national ranking has South Carolina at the bottom of the heap (“SC among worst states to raise a family, report says,” Jan. 11). This time we are the 44th worst place to raise a family. This should come as no surprise considering that we ranked 47th this summer in women’s equality with men — based on workplace environment, education and health, and political empowerment. When women fall behind, families suffer.
Women in our state bear most of the responsibility for caring for families. In 47 percent of S.C. households, women are the sole breadwinner. And moms are also the ones who provide the care for children and other dependents, especially when they get sick.
Yet women earn less than men do. According to 2015 national data, when controlling for race, occupation, nativity, moving status and age, women earned $15,861 less than men. Two-thirds of the low-wage workforce is female, where women often lack health insurance and access to paid sick days to care for children.
The disparities are not limited to finances. South Carolina has among the worst rates of women’s political participation in the country, and we’re fifth in the number of women killed by men each year.
If we want all South Carolinians to thrive, we must support women and insist on equal opportunity. Without equity in our schoolrooms, workplaces and political systems, our families will never enjoy the well-being they deserve, and our state will fail to live up to its potential.
CEO, Women’s Rights & Empowerment Network