A new report about the nation’s black women paints a familiar portrait of a group that is working hard on many levels to achieve the American Dream but is still falling short.
Black women vote at high rates, have made significant improvement in earning college degrees and are succeeding in opening their own businesses, according to “The Status of Black Women in the United States.” Yet they continue to be underrepresented in elected office, earn less than white men and women and are twice as likely as white women to be incarcerated, the report says.
“They have all the makings of what should be success, yet their contributions are undervalued and under compensated,” states the report, released this week by the National Domestic Workers Alliance. The report was prepared by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, a nonprofit organization affiliated with George Washington University.
The report’s findings are similar to previous studies on the state of black women in the country, including a widely discussed 2014 paper by the Black Women’s Roundtable titled, “Black Women in the United States, Progress and Challenges.” It also noted that despite high participation in the workforce, educational institutions and the political process, black women are underpaid and underemployed, suffer at a higher rate from major illnesses and are vulnerable to violence at home and in their communities.
Both reports drew largely from data from the U.S. Census Bureau.