The economic recession has hit Latinas particularly hard. Even this simple, yet true, statement does nothing to paint the picture of what a disproportionate amount of Latinas face every day: unemployment, under-employment and employment without medical benefits and with economic insecurity, poverty, food insecurity, and lack of access to health care.
Despite these challenges, Latinas continue to contribute to our vitality and diversity of this country. We will not stand for the unjust treatment we have faced in the 112th Congress. This dysfunctional Congress has persisted in its assault on the rights of Latinas to make important decisions about their reproductive care, yet they fail to take action on improving the U.S. economy, which has caused great displacement and widened the income inequality among our nation’s ethnic and racial groups.
Recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that while the unemployment rate for Latinas has dropped from 11.5% to 10.6%, the rate for whites continues to be lower at about 7.6%. Even for those Latinas fortunate to have work, they continue to face high income insecurity. A report from Wider Opportunities for Women shows that 66% of Latino households have total incomes that do not allow economic security and 85%of Latina single mothers do not earn economic security wages, despite working full time. This may be due to the fact that Latinas disproportionately work in sectors that are low-wage, part-time, do not offer benefits and are not unionized.
To add to this grim picture, a study from the Pew Research Center shows that the median wealth of white households is 18 times (!!!) that of Latino households. During the Great Recession, while the median net worth of white households dipped 16%, that of Latino household fell by a whopping 66% from $18,369.00 to $6,325.00.