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Women in Wyoming

Wyoming Ranked 48th In The Nation For Women’s Equality

in News
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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

In an ironic twist, the Equality State is considered one of the worst states in the country when it comes to women’s equality.

According to a recent study by personal finance website WalletHub, women have been laid off at a greater rate than men and are being re-employed more slowly. The share of the workforce that is female is at its lowest point since 2008.

WalletHub compared the 50 states across 17 indicators of gender equality, ranging from the gap between female and male executives to the disparity in unemployment rates for women and men.

Wyoming ranked 48th in the nation, just beating out Idaho and Utah, respectively. The state had the largest income gap between men and women, but the smallest gap between men and women in executive positions.

There was a large gap between work hours between men and women, but men were considered the disadvantaged.

“The solution is to revisit the distinction between the private and public domains and rethink the line between individual and social responsibilities,” Babson College professor Mary Godwin told WalletHub. “When health, education, and child care are considered public goods provided by and assessable to all citizens rather than private responsibilities, then women’s access to the public realm is closer to that of their male counterparts.”

In 2020, the United States failed to place in the top 10 or top 50 of the World Economic Forum’s ranking of 153 countries based on gender equality. The U.S. dropped to 53, down from its previous rank of 51.

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March, rally recognize 150 years of suffrage in Wyoming

in News
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By Robert Geha, Cowboy State Daily

Several of the participants in a march Tuesday to commemorate the anniversary of women’s suffrage in Wyoming said the event helped draw attention to instances of inequality that still need to be addressed.

On Dec. 10, 1869, territorial Gov. John Campbell signed the legislation giving Wyoming women the right to vote and hold elected office. Suffrage in Wyoming came 50 years before Congress approved legislation giving women across the country the right to vote.

“And unfortunately, Washington doesn’t know that,” said Gov. Mark Gordon, who participated in the march to the Capitol. “So we need to make sure they understand. We were the first.”

Despite Wyoming leading the nation in the area of suffrage, the state still needs to address areas of inequality, said Britney Wallesch, executive director of Black Dog Animal Rescue and a participant in the march.

“The wage gap is certainly a problem, as we know, in this state,” she said. “Lack of female representation in our elected offices is still a problem. But I think that this march and this day and this year of celebration is a bit of encouragement that things will begin to change.”

Former state Sen. E. Jayne Mockler agreed more work needs to be done.

“We do have a long way to go,” she said. “We have a lot of inequality in a lot of areas in this country and that’s what this is about, is recognizing that it’s important to get out there and finish the work.”

The secret to resolving some of the issues still facing society is to get more women elected to office, said Rep. Cathy Connolly, D-Laramie.

State Auditor Kristi Racines said the state could benefit by having more women in elected office.

“The more points of view we have, the better decisions we make, the better debate we have,” she said. “So I think that’s really important that we continue working toward that.”

Buffalo Bill Center exhibition celebrates Wyoming women

in Community/arts and culture
2381

An exhibition designed to celebrate the women in Wyoming and the barriers they break will be on display at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West for the several months.

The “Women in Wyoming” exhibit, timed to coincide with the anniversary of women winning the right to vote in both Wyoming and the United States, features photographs by exhibit creator Lindsay Linton Buk, a noted portrait photographer.

The exhibit features the photographs of Buk, originally a Powell resident who now has a studio in Jackson and worked for a time in New York.

The exhibit is a little different from traditional displays, said Rebecca West, head of the Plains Indian Museum and director of curatorial education and museum services at the Buffalo Bill Center.

“When we think of arts, photography exhibitions, a lot of time it provides an escape,” West said. “this one is somewhere between an escape and a challenge. When you look at all the women in here, what they’re doing is they’re taking on these challenges and trying to fix things, trying to find solutions.”

Women visiting the exhibition will also have an opportunity to tell their own stories through special “leave a message” telephones at the exhibit or by visiting Buk’s website, West said.

The exhibition opened this year to celebrate the 150th anniversary of women winning the right to vote in Wyoming and will remain up into 2020 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage nationally, said Karen McWhorter, the Scarlett curator of Western art for the Whitney Museum of Western Art.

“So it was critical that we had a longer tenure of this exhibition,” said McWhorter, who worked with West and Buk to design the display.

The exhibit may change how people view Wyoming, West said.

“We’re the Cowboy State and this exhibition shows we’re a lot deeper than just being known as the Cowboy State,” she said.

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