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Photo: Josh Appel, unsplash.com

Black Women’s Equal Pay Day is more than a moment to count the cents on the dollar left out of Black women’s checks. Spoiler alert: it’s $0.62 for every white man’s whole dollar based on our analysis.

It’s also an important opportunity to explore the depths of the systemic racism and sexism that persist in our country and have been worsened by an unprecedented global pandemic and alarming unemployment rates.

Here are five facts about the racism behind the missing cents:

  • Nobody should have to work 20 months to make one year’s pay. But that’s what our racist economy expects of Black women. We mark Black Women’s Equal Pay Day in August each year to note the eight extra months it would take for Black women to be paid what white men were paid the prior year. This translates into an average lifetime earnings gap of approximately $946,120 between Black women and white men, creating not just a wage gap, but a wealth gap over time. …


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Photo: August de Richelieu pexels.com

Prior to the pandemic, telework was an option only available to a small segment of the workforce, particularly those who were highly compensated. Yet over the past several months, telework has provided an essential way for millions of people to maintain their jobs while prioritizing public health — and has transformed the way that people and workplaces function. Up to half of workers are now working from home due to the pandemic, though disparities remain by job type and income level.

This option has provided meaningful safety and financial security for many workers, but it has also created new, unforeseen, and unequal challenges. Employers must implement policies and practices that promote privacy, accessibility and equity in the tele-workplace. This is best achieved by centering — rather than singling out — those most affected by the pandemic, including people with parenting and caregiving responsibilities, who are statistically, often women, those paid lower wages, those with health conditions that put them at higher risk for contracting the virus, those who are pregnant, and those with less access to reliable internet or technology. …


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Medicaid has been a lifeline for millions of women with low income and children who would not get the health care coverage they need without it. Our nation’s essential public health safety net, 75 million people currently get coverage and women are a majority of all adults enrolled in Medicaid.

While far from perfect, the 55-year-old program has been a powerful instrument for addressing deeply embedded health inequities born of racism and poverty. Here are the top five reasons we think Medicaid is awesome!

  1. Health Coverage

Medicaid is the single largest source of health coverage in the United States, covering 25 million women. While coverage disparities still exist, the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion has led to historic reductions in racial disparities in access to health care since 2013. Today, one in four Black women, 23 percent of Latina, and 15 percent of Asian American women are covered by Medicaid. …


Access to clean, potable water is critical to our daily lives. People need water to drink, to bathe, to wash their hands, to cook, to survive and, ultimately, to prosper. That’s why it’s completely unacceptable that millions of individuals living in the United States face the daily reality of exposure to contaminated water sources that present serious risks to reproductive and overall health. And those most at risk are women of color.

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Photo: George Chen bit.ly/2YBrCBh


The backlash that Florida State University (FSU) faced over its decision to bar employees from caring for children while working remotely should serve as a wake-up call to all employers: Working parents will not accept inflexible working conditions that make the dual demands of family and work even harder.

After several days of negative media attention and social media outrage, the university reversed its decision by allowing employees to care for children while working remotely, a policy that was established at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

At a time of national crisis when the country should be coming together and looking for ways to support families during these challenging times, FSU made a serious initial misstep. Unfortunately for parents, it may not be the last harmful decision we see from employers. …


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By Georges C. Benjamin, MD, and Debra L. Ness

As people across the country are being advised — and in many places mandated — to stay home and practice social distancing to help reign in the spread of the novel coronavirus, fear and anxiety are ramping up for the millions of workers who don’t have paid sick leave. They are faced with a dangerous, and in many cases, costly ultimatum: stay home and risk losing their pay or even their job, or go to work and put themselves, family members and the public at risk.

It is in the best interest of our public health and our economy to ensure anyone, regardless of their income level, position or industry, has the ability to care for themselves or a family member. …


Reflecting on Ten Years of the ACA

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On the tenth anniversary of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), we want to make one thing perfectly clear: the ACA is the greatest advancement for women’s health in a generation. Since its passage, the uninsured rate for women has nearly halved from 18 percent in 2008 to 11 percent in 2018. And while disparities in coverage still exist, women of color — who are more likely to be uninsured due to systemic inequities — have experienced particularly significant gains in coverage over the last decade. The ACA not only made important strides in reducing the number of uninsured women, it also brought about sweeping changes in the quality of insurance coverage for women. These improvements have made a meaningful difference for women’s health and economic security. …


April is National Minority Health Month — a month-long initiative to raise awareness of and advance health equity for all racial and ethnic groups. As a way to reduce health disparities and advance health equity, hospitals, payers and policy makers have been increasingly interested in understanding and addressing the socioeconomic factors that affect health — or the social determinants of health. …


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By Gilda Z. Jacobs, Sherry Leiwant and Vicki Shabo

Last month, Gov. Rick Snyder dealt a blow to democracy by gutting the state’s paid sick time law. This was just one of the intentional subversions of democratic process that occurred in Michigan and Wisconsin in the lame duck sessions. Using what can only be described as a blatant undermining of voters’ preferences, and armed with disingenuous talking points from business trade groups, Snyder thwarted the will of hundreds of thousands of Michigan voters who believe the state’s hardworking people should have paid sick time protections.

Paid sick time laws have been passed in 10 other states and 35 localities and have been successfully implemented with no harm to businesses or the economy. Studies show paid sick days improve the health of workers, families and communities. It’s no wonder that voters overwhelmingly support efforts to provide paid sick time to the 40 percent of the workforce that currently lacks it. That seemed likely to be the case in Michigan, where a paid sick time law modeled on other laws passed around the country garnered nearly 400,000 signatures and was headed for the November ballot. …


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By Debra Ness

On Saturday, a slim majority of U.S. Senators turned their backs on America’s women — and on workers, people of color, immigrants, the LGBTQ community, and people with disabilities.

With that vote, Senators told everyone who has ever been — or will ever be — exploited or discriminated against that you don’t deserve justice and the courts won’t be on your side.

They told tens of millions of survivors of sexual violence and assault that their truth doesn’t matter. Their pain doesn’t matter. They don’t matter.

They failed in one of the Senate’s most essential duties by putting a nominee who is unfit in every possible way onto the Supreme Court. …

About

National Partnership

Because women matter. Equality matters. We matter. (More: NationalPartnership.org)

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