It’s long past time that we turn our attention to leveling the playing field for Black women and girls.
Writers always hear the advice “Write what you know.” Some legislators are taking that advice as “Advocate on what you know.”
Taking this to heart, three Black female members of Congress officially created the Congressional Caucus on Black Women and Girls.
Representatives Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-N.J.), Robin Kelly (D-Ill.) and Yvette D. Clarke (D-NY) confirmed the news in a press release yesterday.
“Black women and girls are disproportionately affected by myriad [of] socioeconomic issues that diminish their quality of life and threaten the well-being of their families and communities,” Rep. Kelly said in a release obtained by The Huffington Post. “The Congressional Caucus on Black Women and Girls gives black women a seat at the table for the crucial discussion on the policies that impact them while also providing a framework for creating opportunities and eliminating barriers to success for black women.”
This is no small thing. The institutional barriers to achievement faced by Black women are staggering. African American women earn only 64% of what white men earn, and they earn only 91% of what Black men earn. African American women held 8.58% of the bachelor’s degrees held by women in 2012, though they constituted 12.7% of the female population. The poverty rate for African American women is 28.6%. In comparison, the poverty rate of white, non-Hispanic women is 10.8%.
It’s long past time that we turn our attention to leveling the playing field for Black women and girls. I look forward to seeing what strides this caucus can help us make.