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The Utah Women's Health Review






University of Utah

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.


Utah has a strong history of women’s political and civic involvement. The state was an early leader in giving women the vote, was home to the first female state senator in the nation (MacKay, 2005), and, as recently as 1996, had the strongest women’s voter participation in the United States (Davidson, 1996). However, these factors do not give the full picture; and in 2015 the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (2015) ranked Utah dead last in the area of political participation. Much of this ranking was due to the lack of women running for and serving in public office, but Utah women’s voter ranking and some aspects of civic involvement also were found to have room for improvement. As engagement in the community can be a key indicator of social health, while also providing opportunities for emotional and intellectual growth, these issues deserve attention. This research snapshot focuses on three key areas: 1. Utah women’s voting participation rates and national ranking when it comes to voter turn-out, 2. Utah women’s policy priorities, compared with those of Utah women and men nationwide, and 3. Utah women’s levels of civic and community engagement, focusing on volunteer work but also exploring other ways in which Utah women are involved in their communities.

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