State Rep. Robyn Porter speaks at a press conference about furthering women's health services. Clarice Silber /

Wednesday was International Women’s Day, a time to take stock of how women are faring in Connecticut.

In a U.S. News and World Report ranking of states on gender equality, the state finished seventh overall and first on an important economic metric, disparity in wages. Connecticut’s was the smallest in the U.S. — 97 cents on the dollar.

The overall ranking was based on gender disparities in 13 metrics from five categories: education; economy; health; family planning and care; and representation and power.

Ah, yes, representation and power. 

That includes the General Assembly, where 69 of the 187 representatives and senators are women. (That’s 12 of 36 senators and 57 of 151 House members.) Of the 12 women in the Senate, 10 are Democrats and two are Republicans. Of the 57 in the House, the split is 38 Democrats and 19 Republicans.

Overall, those numbers put Connecticut 18th among all states as measured by the percentage of seats held by women — 36.9%. Nevada was first with 61.9% and West Virginia was last with 11.9%.

Two of the state’s five U.S. representatives are women: Rosa. L. DeLauro and Jahana Hayes. And so are two of the state’s six state constitutional officers: Lt. Gov. Susan Bysiewicz and Secretary of the State Stephanie Thomas.

Forty-eight percent of state agency heads and 45% of state judges are women.


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Mark PazniokasCapitol Bureau Chief

Mark is the Capitol Bureau Chief and a co-founder of CT Mirror. He is a frequent contributor to WNPR, a former state politics writer for The Hartford Courant and Journal Inquirer, and contributor for The New York Times.