inspire to aspire

Disparities faced by girls and women of color

Last month, the White House Council on Women and Girls released a report entitled Women and Girls of Color: Addressing Challenges and Expanding Opportunity.

Although the report highlights work over the last 6 years to eliminate barriers to success for women and girls of color, there remain significant disparities.    The President pointed out the fact that women and girls of color “struggle every day with biases that perpetuate oppressive standards for how they are supposed to look and act.”

Here are just a few of the disparities faced by girls and women of color, who…

  • continue do poorer on standardized educational tests
  • are more likely to be suspended from school
  • face higher rates of poverty
  • are paid lower than their white peers for the same work
  • are more likely to become involved in the criminal justice system
  • experience higher rates of domestic violence
  • have the highest rates of chronic disease including diabetes, heart disease, and obesity

An excerpt from the report’s section on education provides further evidence:

While math and reading scores on the National Assessment of Education Progress, often called the “Nation’s Report Card,” have improved for girls overall since 2000, girls of color remain behind. When it comes to graduation rates, since 2000, the high school dropout rate has fallen by half for Hispanic girls and by more than one-third for Black girls. But while girls of color are more likely to graduate from high school than boys of color, Black girls are 14.6 percentage points less likely, Hispanic girls are 12.8 percentage points less likely, and American Indian/Alaska Native girls are 16 percentage points less likely to graduate than White girls.  And while women of color are more likely to graduate from college than men of color, Black women are 21.3 percentage points less likely, Hispanic women are 10 percentage points less likely, Pacific Islander women are 14.8 percentage points less likely, and American Indian/Alaska Native women are 22.5 percentage points less likely to graduate from college than White women.

In follow-up, the White House council on Women and Girls will convene a working group on challenges and disparities that continue to affect these populations.  Including experts and leader from outside government, the group will focus on education, health, economic security, violence, criminal justice, juvenile justice, and more.  To read the entire report:  CLICK HERE

Chrysalis After-School programs provide a significant and highly diverse population for our work to instill and support inclusiveness.  We are expanding our own knowledge by partnering with ISU Extension’s 4-H Youth Development Program, and its new director, John-Paul Chaisson-Cardenas, who has reached out to Chrysalis as a collaborator in strengthening youth of all races, socio-economic backgrounds, and skill levels.

Through this partnership, Chrysalis programs will gain tools and educational support in areas including STEM, healthy living, communication, and citizenship, along with another key connection to experts, research, and resources.

Our hope is to work toward elimination of all barriers to success for girls and women, and for our community.  Thank you for being a partner in this work.

  1.  (For a personal account of the challenges of being a young woman of color:  CLICK HERE)


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