PRESIDENT OBAMA’S NEW WHITE HOUSE COUNCIL ON WOMEN AND GIRLS: WILL IT AVOID THE PLIGHT OF POOR BLACK & LATINO COMMUNITIES ?
This week President Barack Obama signed an executive order establishing a White House Council on Women and Girls.
The much needed council will fall under the umbrella of White House Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett.
President Obama noted in his speech, that inequities for women continue to persist despite the significant advances that have been made by women. This is especially true when it comes to wage disparity and subprime loans.
Further black women have and still suffers the most in both categories.
As to wage disparity, women of color earns only 68 cents for every dollar earned by their white male counterpart. This is also 10 cents less than their white female counterparts.
This wage gap continues to severely hinder the women’s ability to support themselves and their families. Black women are more likely than white women to be the head of the house–45.8 percent of Black households are headed by women versus 13.6 percent of white households.
That dynamic also plays into the current subprime-lending crisis.
Black women received far more subprime loans than white men. A recent report by the Consumer Federation of America notes that subprime loans have gone disproportionately to women, and that African-American and Latina women have the highest rates of subprime lending when compared to all other Americans, especially white men who receive the lowest share of subprime loans. Moreover, the disparity increases as income increases. In fact, upper income African-American women are five times more likely to receive a subprime mortgage than white men.
On Friday in Los Angeles, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People filed suit in federal court against two major banks alleging that they intentionally assigned black customers subprime mortgages while giving whites better rates. The civil rights group is accusing Wells Fargo and HSBC of forcing blacks into subprime mortgages while whites with identical qualifications got lower rates.
The White House Council on Women and Girls will be composed of the heads of every Cabinet and Cabinet-level agency and will coordinate a federal response to issues that have a distinct impact on the lives of women and girls, including strengthening women’s economic security and reducing domestic violence and unintended pregnancies. It will also explore how to assist women-owned businesses, increase the participation of women in the science, engineering and technology workforce, and will provide recommendations and assist in the development of policy proposals of special concern to women and girls.
The question is whether this will work its way down to state and local levels. We know that the impact of the stimulus package on blacks is now questionable in the state of South Carolina. It is apparent that Mark Sanford the state’s governor will not allocate monies to repair a dilapidated predominantly black J.V. Martin Junior High School in Union, S.C. Instead, he will use it to retire the state’s debt. It’s obvious that the rebuilding of the school will not only create an environment condusive of learning, but it will create jobs and stimulate the economy. Retiring of the debt will not. It appears that Mark Sanford can’t shake that confederate mentality.
Anyway, will this too avoid the plight of the poor Black and Latino communities?
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