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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.


A host of national reports and media (e.g., Chu & Posner, 2013) in the past decade have ranked Utah last or near last in terms of women being in positions of decision making and leadership, and women in Utah politics is foundational to this issue. Raising awareness of the reasons why this is the case is critical to social change efforts focused on improving the representation of women in political roles within the state. Women serving in public office within the state of Utah have positive implications for women’s health. Research shows that when more women are involved in decision-making roles related to public policy, families and societies benefit (Madsen, 2015). Female legislators tend to extend greater support than their male counterparts toward legislation focused on health, education, and social programs that tend to positively impact families and society. This report compares current Utah data to national trends in terms of women in Utah politics, with a specific focus on Congress, state executive offices, and state legislatures. Tracking progress through updated status reports is an important way to help decision makers and other influencers clarify what is working and to determine and refine best steps moving forward.

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