Wednesday, March 30, 2005

African American Women Work More, Earn Less: (From the Institute for Women's Policy Research)

For Immediate Release: Tuesday, March 29, 2005Despite recent news stories implying the contrary, on most measures of economic status, U.S. Census Bureau data show that African American women are worse off than white women. This holds true when comparing the median earnings of white and African American full-time, full-year workers at every education level, and when comparing poverty rates and unemployment rates for the two groups. Both white and African American women earn less than comparable men.
According to recently released 2004 data from the U.S. Census Bureau, African American women working full-time, full-year earn $26,992 in median annual earnings, compared with $32,036 earned by comparable white women workers.Among those with a bachelor's degree alone, African American women earn $38,160 compared with $40,700 earned by comparable white women. African American women are also less likely than white women to hold bachelor's degrees or higher, with only 16.7% of African American women holding bachelor's degrees in 2004, compared with 24.6% of white women.
When comparing the median earnings of all workers (regardless of work schedule or amount of time worked), college-educated African American women do earn slightly more than white women. This is likely due to the greater work effort shown by African American women who tend to work more than other women with the same educational background. Recent analysis conducted by the Economic Policy Institute shows that college-educated African American women work, on average, 1,923 hours per year, compared to the 1,734 hours per year worked by college-educated white women.
"That disparity adds up to over a month of additional full-time work by African American women. With that level of work effort, it would be a tragedy if African American women weren't earning more," comments Avis Jones-DeWeever, Study Director at the Institute for Women's Policy Research.
But for many, working more is not enough. Census Data from 2003 also show that African American women are far more likely to live in poverty than are white women, with 26.5% of African American women, and 9.1% of white women living in poverty.
African American women have also been much harder hit by unemployment during the recent jobless recovery. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported the February 2005 unemployment rate for African American women at 9.2%, was also more than double that experienced by white women at 4.0%.
"Taken together, these data point to the need to strengthen policies designed to improve educational and work opportunities for African American women," said Dr. Jones-DeWeever. "Such policies include protecting and strengthening the enforcement of affirmative action policies, improving access to financial assistance for low-income students, and allowing more education and training to count as work under welfare reform."
Hispanic women fare especially poorly on most economic measures. Their median annual earnings in 2003 were $22,369, and in 2003, 24.4% lived in poverty. Only 10.6% of Hispanic women held bachelor's degrees or higher in 2004.
Asian American women had relatively high median annual earnings for all full-time workers, at $32,774 in 2003. Median annual earnings for full-time, year-round Asian American women workers with a bachelor's degree were even higher at $45,105 in 2003. Asian American women have higher educational levels than other groups, with 42.7% holding bachelor's degree or higher in 2004. However, Asian American women experienced higher rates of poverty compared with white women, with 12.0% of Asian American women living in poverty.
The Institute for Women's Policy Research is a nonprofit, nonpartisan public policy research organization dedicated to informing and stimulating the debate on public policy issues of critical importance to women and their families. The Institute can be found on the web at
Jean Sinzdak
Institute for Women's Policy Research
phone: (202) 785-5100

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

From the National Women's Law Center

Senate Medicaid Amendment Narrowly Passes, But Threats to Health Care and Other Services for Low-Income Families Remain – Act Now! Click on the Title link to find out more and to take action.

Halting Homophobia In Sports -- from Women's Sports Weekly

The sporting arena is often a second home for most athletes. It is a place where teammates and coaches should respect and accept all players, regardless of racial backgrounds or sexual orientation. Unfortunately, creating a fair and equal playing field for all players is easier said than done. Pat Griffin, Ph.D., the new director of our It Takes a Team! Campaign, explains how every coach has a responsibility to address issues of homophobia with their teams.
Get tips on how to stop homophobia on your team (If this link doesn't work try clicking on the title above to link to the full article)

Saturday, March 19, 2005

But Do We Believe Him? (News on Emergency Contraception from FMF)

FDA Acting Commissioner Indicates EC OTC Will Be Approved

The nominee to become the next Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner indicated at a confirmation hearing yesterday that the FDA will approve over-the-counter status for emergency contraception (EC)...

Friday, March 18, 2005

Republicans Nix Pregnancy Prevention

Showing their true colors, a majority of Congress rejected bill to reduce abortions by working to reduce unintended pregnancies. Click on the link above for the Reuters report.

Public Education Network News

Click on the link for up to date news on the No Child Left Behind Act, religion in the schools, and all the news that is news about the state of public education.

Quit Trashing NOW

Here's a bit of a conversation from an Anglican listserve. A bit of a rant, I guess. But you shouldn't be trashing NOW!

>Excuse me, Katherine, but I did not call women strident, I called NOW strident. Their rhetoric >leaves no room for the option other than abortion. I never said i am opposed to women's right >to choose, I said the Democratic party needs to be more nuanced in its platform, and Christians >need to articulate the truth that abortion is a tragedy. I was not being dismissive, but trying to >use an example about how the liberal/conservative labels are not very helpful.
>Perhaps you would rather just subscribe to a list of official positions and not think for yourself?
>Getting cranky in Texas,
(Name removed – ‘cause it’s the right thing to do)

Excuse me, N___, but I heard you the first time. You called NOW strident. IOW, you called women who are standing up for themselves, and for all of us, strident. I objected. I still do.

Rather than engage their arguments you dismiss them by calling them "strident" and calling their well thought-out positions "rhetoric." Actually, it seems to me you're the one engaging in inflamatory and shallow rhetoric. You've made them straw "men" and dismissed them without citing a single argument you disagree with.

You say they leave no room for options other than abortion. That's nonsense. They support wage equity and family leave and day care and educational opportunities and contraceptive awareness and availablility -- all the things that make abortion less necessary -- things that enable women not to get pregnant or to raise children if they choose. And they deserve more respect than to be misrepresented and then cavalierly dismissed while being used as a prop to make someone's point.

You're getting cranky? You don't want to get me started on cranky. All this talk about shooting bishops, murders in churches ... yet no acknowledgement of all the murders, bombings, arsons, stalkings ... against women's health care providers. Upset about listing the names of bishops someone wants killed on the web? Me, too. It's awful. But let's show some of the same furor about the old Nuremberg Files site. Loooong lists of people they recommended killing. Names of those who had been killed featured with a black line through them. Names of those who had "only" been injured had a grey line through them. True, they never listed any clergy, but they did have a link to a very good picture of me with my name and state identified. I'm sure they didn't mean anything by it, though. After the Olympic bombing there was a bombing of a women's clinic and a gay bar, right? Wrong. It was a lesbian bar. Think this isn't about women? Think I'm not cranky?

Finally, I've preached at too many doctors' memorial services, sat in the kitchen where Dr. Slepian was shot listening while his widow and children re-lived that night, spent too much time surrounded by body guards and refusing security staff's advice to buy a kevlar vest --- way too much time, to be sanguine about the kind of language that dismisses us (and by us I include NOW). Dismissing is the first step to demonizing and dehumanizing and that's the first step to making us fair game for violence. I know that you weren't going anywhere near that far down the road, N____. I know you'd decry the violence. But I also know that demonizing NOW really is the first step. It may be so far away from the bad consequences that most folks who do it don't recognize it as such a step. But those of us who've been shoved further down that road -- who've had to see and deal with the consequences -- know where it leads. Cranky? Oh, yeah.

And, by the way, those folks you dismiss as being strident, engaging in rhetoric, whom you misrepresent as not allowing for (much less fighting for) other options? Many of them (maybe most of them) share many of the same values you do. For the record -- I first met Kim Gandy (the current pres. of NOW) at a church service, I first met Patricia Ireland (past pres. of NOW) at a religious conference, and the night Dr. Slepian was killed he and his family had just returned from temple.

Those are my friends and colleagues (in some cases people whom I pastor, though not members of my congregation) you're insulting.

I didn't want to get into this. As you may recall, I simply asked in what way NOW was strident (still haven't received an answer except to be told, incorrectly, that the only option they allow is abortion. Nonsense), and thanked others for continuing the conversation so I didn't have to. But if you're going to persist in going after my friends ...

Utterly out of patience in MA