EQUALITY & DIVERSITY

Utah study shows the realities of women’s experiences in the Beehive State

Jan 4, 2024, 5:51 PM | Updated: 6:37 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — A new research synopsis from the Utah Women and Leadership Project, released Thursday, sheds light on the data-driven realities of women’s experiences in the Beehive State.

Associate director for the project, Kolene Anderson, said a wide variety of research looked at the experience of Utah women in political and civic engagement, education, health and well-being, and safety and security. She said the study’s results show that Utah has many areas to improve.

“Across the board, women are being affected in very negative ways within the state, which is so unfortunate because Utah is a great place to be,” Anderson said.

She thinks there is a lack of awareness because of apathy towards women in the state.

“But I also think if it’s not something that you, yourself, are dealing with or facing in your home, it’s easy to say this isn’t something that happens here, and the research paints a very different picture,” Anderson said.

She said Utah currently ranks ninth in the nation, per capita, for rape and is the worst state in the country for women’s equality. The state is also at the bottom third for inclusion, justice, and security. But she said Utah is improving in some areas.

“One of the areas that has been positive is with bachelor’s degree completion among Utah women. Another positive is to see the government leadership, civic engagement. We do have more women in office.”

Anderson said the solution starts by recognizing the data and ensuring that women are a part of all conversations, especially in leadership roles.

“People just don’t know unless it’s your lived experience you just don’t know, so we have got to talk about it,” she said. “We need to lift and lead and support where we can, and all of us have areas where we can lift and lead and support.”

 

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Utah study shows the realities of women’s experiences in the Beehive State