WASHINGTON, DC — The most recent report by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWFPR), ranking the best and worst states for women, “amounts to little more than looking for discrimination in all the wrong places,” says Nancy M. Pfotenhauer, president of the Independent Women’s Forum.

The state-by-state analysis is a clever ploy to make it appear that women are worse off than men across the country. The reports findings claim that women earn less, are seriously underrepresented in political office, and make up disproportionate share of those in poverty.

However, their methodology for assessing the economic well-being is flawed. It fails to take into account important factors such as age, education, and consecutive years in the workplace. Today, similarly qualified men and women earn the same wages. In fact, as a study by the Employment Policy Foundation (EPF) reveals, women sometimes out-earn their male counterparts. Examining data from the Current Population Survey, EPF found that single women who live alone and have full-time jobs earn 28 cents more than similarly situated men.

The average wages of women may be lower than those of men because a woman is more likely to choose a lower-paying job that provides flexibility to combine work and family responsibilities. This is not discrimination this is women choosing what works best for themselves and their families.

IWPR goes on to complain that the proportion of state legislators who are women “grew only slightly,” calling this “disappointing.”

“Here, IWPR is guilty of confusing equal opportunity with equal results. In the most recent issue of our magazine, The Women’s Quarterly, polling expert Karlyn Bowman reports that the success rate of male and female candidates nationwide are virtually identical,” notes Pfotenhauer.

“In reality, whether it be in finances, politics, or education — where women now earn the majority of bachelor’s and master’s degrees — women are not victims.” And most women reject this view. Unfortunately, groups like these, who purport to speak on behalf of all women, still don’t get it.

Adds Pfotenhauer, “By creating criteria for ranking states designed to support radical feminist views of women as victims, the IWPR ignores the fact that real life is giving women what they need: genuine choices and equal opportunity.”

The Independent Women’s Forum, founded in 1992, is a non-profit, nonpartisan educational organization.