Justice Doesn’t Trickle Down: How Racialized and Gender Rules are Holding Women Back

By Andrea Flynn |

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Among all social groups in the United States, women of color experience some of the starkest disparities, inequities, and injustices across nearly every social and economic indicator. Compared with white women, women of color have higher levels of unemployment and poverty; they have significantly less wealth; they are more likely to be targeted by and come in contact with the criminal justice system; they are at a much higher risk, regardless of their income or education, of dying as a result of pregnancy and of losing their children in infancy; they are less likely to own a home and more likely to have high-risk mortgages when they do own a home; they are less likely to attend college and, when they do, tend to carry heavier student debt burdens.

In recent years, some progressive political leaders have suggested that improving economic conditions for women—by increasing the minimum wage, instituting paid family leave and paid sick leave, and expanding affordable childcare—will create the rising tide that will lift all boats. In partnership with the Ms. Foundation, this paper illustrates why addressing these issues alone will not be sufficient to improve opportunities and outcomes for women, and particularly for women of color.

 

Andrea Flynn is a Fellow at the Roosevelt Institute, where she researches and writes about issues that impact women and families. Her writing has appeared in The Atlantic, The New Republic, Cosmopolitan, Salon, The Hill, and Women’s eNews. You can follow Andrea on Twitter @dreaflynn.