In “The Status of Black Women in the United States,” a new report from the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR) commissioned by the National Domestic Workers Alliance (NDWA), authors Chandra Childers, Ph.D., Asha DuMonthier, Ph.D., and Jessica Milli, Ph.D. show that Black women face a number of setbacks in the political, economic, health, and professional sectors — despite making tremendous strides to shore up their strength in these same areas.
The findings present a series of disappointing contradictions. Black women voted at higher rates than all other groups of men and women during the 2008 and 2012 presidential elections and registered to vote in record numbers. (Not to mention, 94% of them voted for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election.) However, there are no Black women serving in the U.S. Senate, and they form just 4.1% of officials elected to the House of Representatives.
“Black women have the highest participation of going out, voting, and of activism in their community, yet what we see is that they have very low representation either at the federal level or in our state houses, and we’re also seeing efforts to actually undermine that participation by voter ID laws for example,” says Childers, a senior research scientist at IWPR and one of the authors of the report. “We’ve seen cutbacks in early voting, which is central because again, these are women who are largely working.”