Miami Named America's Most Dangerous City for Women

Miami Named America's Most Dangerous City for WomenEXPAND
Photo by Christina Mendenhall

When the Zika virus hit Miami Beach this past August,  U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Tom Frieden speculated that pregnant women might want to avoid the entirety of Miami-Dade County for a few months.

"If you’re concerned about Zika, you may consider postponing all non-essential travel to all parts of Miami-Dade County," he said, according to the Miami Herald.

But it turns out, women who aren't pregnant might also want to consider avoiding the city. According to a study the website ValuePenguin released, Miami is America's most dangerous city for women, full-stop. And that doesn't even include anything Zika-related.

To compile the study, which the Miami Herald first reported, the site gathered data in 31 different categories, including various crime stats (rape, sexual violence, sex offenders per capita), public-policy stats like whether Floridians get paid family leave (they don't), and various health care and education statistics, like how many women's health clinics Miami has.

Of 261 cities, Miami came in dead last. Sure, our crime stats were bad (212th total), but what really dinged us was the lack of social resources offered to women. In terms of women's health care, Miami was ranked number 259 out of a possible 261.

And does that really surprise anyone? At the state level, Florida's government is, at best, indifferent to the needs of women, and, at worst, actively hostile toward the entire gender. Earlier this year, the state tried to cut off funding for health clinics that provide abortions — this, in other words, meant cutting off all state funding to Planned Parenthood, the largest women's health care provider in the country. Despite statewide protests, the state and Gov. Rick Scott pushed the bill forward, until a federal judge threw most of the bill out last month.

The Florida legislature and Scott have also declined to expand Medicaid, which led to one South Florida single mother calling Scott an "asshole" in a Gainesville Starbucks earlier this year. 

The study even hints at the fact that Miami's wealth-centered economy ignores the needs of poor, working-class women. "Whilst the most important indicator for an individual woman's access to healthcare may be personal wealth, the availability of health care to the general female population impacts the welfare of this demographic significantly," the study says.

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The city also ranked poorly when it came to women's "Education and Wealth." ValuePenguin ranked each city in terms of how many women hold college degrees, and what each city's female median income was — we sunk to number 207 in that category.

Miami politicians like to compare the city to major metropolitan hubs like New York, Washington, D.C.,, and Los Angeles. But New York City, in particular, ranked the 11th best city, total, for women in the country. And the latter two towns still landed within the top 100. A glut of studies released recently suggests that people who live in Miami aren't all that crazy about it. These results should remind local politicians that the city's social services have a long, long way to go.


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