Are Puerto Rican women in the workplace better off than other American women?

woman getting fired at her office
© Dmytro Zinkevych/Shutterstock

A new report found the U.S. ranked 20th in the world for workplace equality.

I knew things were tough for women in the workplace (yep, I'm just that observant). But a recent study is making me wonder if work is hard for American women in particular.

A recent report ranked countries by women's equality in the workplace from best to worst. The U.S. came in 20th, after places like Mexico, Denmark and Puerto Rico. (Australia was first, and Yemen was last.)

Alright, I didn't expect the U.S. to top this list. But seriously ... Why was the U.S. behind Puerto Rico? Puerto Rico is an American territory.

So I looked into the stats further. Apparently, both places are pretty good at letting women access institutions, build credit and use property. Women are almost equally likely to get a job in both places, and women on the mainland are actually have better access to courts than women in Puerto Rico.

The real place American women lag behind Puerto Rican woman came out in one measurement: violence. Puerto Rico got a score of 93.8 at "protecting women from violence." The U.S. scored 68.8.

The report pointed out two ways American women aren't protected from violence (but Puerto Rican women are). In the U.S.:

1. There are no criminal penalties for sexual harassment in the workplace.
2. There is no law explicitly criminalizing marital rape.

In light of that, the whole #metoo movement looks different. Previously, I thought American women were upset about sexual harassment and rape because all women are upset about sexual harassment and rape. But maybe this really is an especially American problem.

Not that this is "just" about women (though even if it were, so what?). There may be a "green gender gap." Men fear it's not "masculine" to care about green issues.

“We found a really strong cognitive link between eco-friendliness and femininity," wrote one scientist studying the issue.

Money is power. Working is power. Being able to move around in the world without fear is power. There are a lot of similarities between the ways society oppresses women and society misuses the environment.

Are Puerto Rican women in the workplace better off than other American women?
A new report found the U.S. ranked 20th in the world for workplace equality.

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