The National Domestic Workers Alliance and Institute for Women’s Policy Research released a report titled, “The Status of Black Women in the United States,” which compiles data collected from all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
The report outlined Black women’s “essential contributions to the productivity, wealth, and success of the nation.” Despite their dedication, after having been brutally exploited through centuries of chattel slavery, the report found that black women’s “contributions to the U.S. society and economy have been undervalued and undercompensated.”
Among its series of findings, the report shows that:
The median annual earnings for Black women “lag behind most women’s and men’s earnings in the U.S.
Black women experience poverty at higher rates than Black men and women from all other racial/ ethnic groups except Native American women.
Black women’s average incidence of AIDS is five times higher than any other racial and ethnic group of women.
Quality child care is unaffordable for many Black women.
Black women of all ages were twice as likely to be imprisoned as White women in 2014 (109 per 100,000 Black women were imprisoned in state and federal prisons compared with 53 per 100,000 White women).
Black women remain underrepresented at every level of federal and state political office in the United States.
The number of businesses owned by Black women increased by 178 percent between 2002 and 2012, the largest increase among all racial and ethnic groups of women and men.
Between 2004 and 2014, the share of Black women with a bachelor’s degree or higher increased by 23.9 percent, making Black women the group of women with the second-largest improvement in the attainment of higher education during the decade.
Black women experience intimate partner violence at higher rates than women overall.
The findings of the report emphasize the urgent need for several policy interventions that directly address the needs of Black women in the United States. They include protection of voting rights, salary improvements and access to quality jobs, reduce costs of caregiving to families, increase access to education and health care, support programs for victims of violence.
Most importantly it suggests that “institutionalized racism and sexism within the criminal justice system as well as elsewhere in society,” be properly addressed.