Washington, D.C.-(ENEWSPF)- This week, Congresswomen Robin L. Kelly (D-IL), Yvette D. Clarke (D-NY), Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ), Co-Chairs of the Caucus on Black Women and Girls, and Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) introduced the bipartisan Protect Black Women and Girls Act. This bill would establish an Interagency Task Force to examine the conditions and experiences of Black women and girls in education, economic development, healthcare, labor and employment, housing, justice, and civil rights, to promote community-based methods for mitigating and addressing harm and ensuring accountability and to study societal effects on Black women and girls.
“It is long past time for this country to acknowledge the disturbing treatment Black women and girls endure, but acknowledgment will not be enough,” said Congresswoman Kelly. “We must dedicate federal resources to examining the causes of these issues and commit ourselves to improving the education, healthcare, economic opportunity and civil rights available to American Black women and girls. I am proud to introduce the Protect Black Women and Girls Act alongside my Caucus on Black Women and Girls Co-Chairs and Congressman Fitzpatrick.”
“As co-chair of the Caucus on Black Women and Girls I know that Black women routinely suffer from disparate outcomes in areas ranging from pay to maternal mortality, to housing instability and over-incarceration,” said Watson Coleman. “This bill will, for the first time, charge a commission to examine the causes of these gaps and propose solutions. This bill and the commission it will create, represent an important step in creating equity for America’s Black women and girls.”
“An Interagency Task Force intended to investigate the heinous conditions too many Black women and girls experience throughout their lives in every setting, from the boardroom to the doctor’s office, is a necessary pathway to protecting future generations from the ceaseless struggles faced by current and past generations. Despite our leadership in every liberation movement throughout this nation’s history, Black women and girls of America continue to be brutalized and marginalized by a governing system sworn to protect us. For centuries, our health has been disregarded, our safety has been ignored, and our dreams have been discarded. This Task Force reflects a change in direction and a critical step towards bringing a universal understanding of the situation Black women and girls still live under. I look forward to its inception following the passage of this important and timely legislation,” said Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke.
“As Members of Congress, we must work towards making the American Dream more attainable for every American. For far too long, Black women and girls have experienced disproportionate inequities in housing, financial stability, education, and healthcare,” said Rep. Fitzpatrick. “I am proud to join my colleagues in introducing this bipartisan legislation that establishes an interagency task force to improve policy outcomes and will require the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights to study the experience of Black women and girls in our country. I look forward to continuing to work on bipartisan solutions to create more access to economic and educational opportunities and improve the livelihoods of Black women and girls.”
While the data collected on the experiences and conditions of Black women and girls is often insufficient and incomplete, we know the following to be true:
- Black women die from pregnancy-related complications at 3 times the rate of their non-Hispanic white counterparts;
- For every US dollar that a white man earns in the United States, Black women are paid 61 cents;
- 60% of Black girls experience sexual assault before they reach adulthood.
- In comparison to white girls, Black school-aged girls are four times more likely to be arrested at school and five times more likely to be transferred to another school for disciplinary reasons.
The Protect Black Women and Girls Act would establish an Interagency Task Force to examine the conditions and experiences of Black women and girls in the United States. This task force would be responsible for:
- Identifying and assessing the efficacy of policies and programs at the federal, state, and local levels designed to improve outcomes for Black women and girls;
- Making recommendations for improving these policies and programs;
- Covering issues involving Black women and girls in education, economic development, health care, justice, civil rights, and housing; and
- Submitting recommendations to Congress, the President, and each state or local government on policies, practices, programs, and incentives that should be adopted to improve their outcomes.
It would also direct the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights to conduct a study and collect data on the effects of specified economic, health, criminal justice, and social service factors on Black women and girls.
This is news from the office of Congresswoman Robin L. Kelly.