The Congressional Caucus on Black Women and Girl's effort is grounded in concrete and substantive policy ideas, establishing the ground floor from which we build our agenda and initiatives.
The Caucus will launch on April 28, 2016 with a Symposium and formal convening. For more information, click here.
Topic areas which we hope to address will include:
- Safety: The countless stories of Black women and girls being killed or made unsafe at the hands of police officers who use excessive force has frequently gone unnoticed. Black girls have been made unsafe in schools where instead of fostering a supportive and compassionate educational environment, they are six times more likely to be suspended than White girls and become victims in the school to prison pipeline. Black women and girls are unsafe in their homes and continue to suffer from high rates of domestic violence and sexual assault. In addition, the perception of Black women and girls in the media perpetuates negative images and reinforces the idea that Black women are oversexualized and are essentially, not rape-able. Testimony at the hearing will provide background on why this continues to be the case, and suggest policy recommendations to provide better protections for Black women and girls.
- Opportunities for Black women and girls: Even though Black women have been leaders at the forefront of many of our nation’s achievements, when compared to other groups, Black women are disproportionately affected by economic hardship. They are paid 64% of what White men are paid, and are the largest group to be employed in minimum wage jobs. Additionally, affording child care has become an exorbitant burden for Black mothers. The hearing will address these issues and more in discussing how we can advance opportunities for Black women in America.
- Black women and girls in the criminal justice system: Black women and girls represent 30 percent of all women incarcerated but make up just 13 percent of the population. In addition, Black girls continue to be treated as criminals in the justice system in instances where they should be treated as victims.
- Health concerns of Black women and girls: From lack of attention to diseases that are disproportionately fatal to Black women and girls, to diminishing choice in making decisions regarding their reproductive rights, Black women and girls continue to be overlooked in the discussion on access to quality health care. The hearing will provide testimony on how some of these disparities can be addressed through policy changes.
- Black women and girls as an electorate: Black women are the fastest growing electorate demographic, even though they are often disproportionately affected by voter suppression tactics that limit access to the ballot. When early voting is cut short, or long lines persist at the ballot box, Black women frequently have to make a choice between risking losing their low-wage job, and exercising their constitutional right to vote. Testimony at the hearing will advance policy proposals on how Black women can overcome these and other obstacles to the ballot box.