Women and the Racial Wealth Divide
Christine Bork@Huffington Post
In the current economic climate, we can see more clearly the wealth gap that exists between women in different racial/ethnic communities, as inequalities that have historically hammered communities of color are amplified. The result of this racial segregation of poverty is stark– 29 percent of households headed by white women with children live in poverty, compared to 43 percent of African-American women and 46 percent of Latina women.
Factors such as industry sector, wage growth, access to health care benefits, and even zip code contribute to a woman of color’s ability to accumulate enough to support her family. Without critical wealth and/or asset building opportunities, families of color are relegated to living paycheck to paycheck, edging one step closer to financial ruin when they encounter job loss or an illness.
Wealth and poverty both accumulate over time, growing exponentially with each passing generation. According to a report from the Brookings Institute, white children are more likely to surpass parents’ income than black children at a similar point in the income distribution. In the United States, the top 10% owns approximately 76% of all wealth; under this structure, the children of wealth will continue building and accumulating it, while the children of those who are unable to accumulate wealth will likewise grow poorer.
If we want to invest in our community’s future, we must find a way to give all women what they need to support their families responsibly across generations.