As states ban abortion with the overturning of Roe v. Wade, women’s rights advocates in New York and beyond are raising awareness of the disproportionate impact these policies will have on black women — and they’re setting a framework for economic and health justice moving forward.
The Congressional Caucus on Black Women and Girls has created a legislative agenda to put Black women at the center of these policy discussions, to address their long-standing economic barriers.
Azza Altiraifi, senior policy officer of the Liberation in a Generation group, co-chaired the task force that put together the report and said dismantling any structure of oppression is necessary to create collective economic prosperity and strengthen democracy.
“It is futile to focus solely on narrowing racial gaps, whether in wealth, health, housing or education,” Altiraifi said, “unless they are equally willing to uproot and dismantle the root causes of these inequalities in the first place”.
The report built on the “Black Women Best” intersectional framework coined by Janelle Jones, the first black woman to serve as chief economist at the Department of Labor. Altiraifi said it draws on a rich history of black women’s feminist scholarship and includes ties to disability, reproductive and economic justice.
In addition to centering black women, Altiraifi said it’s important to follow their leadership on these issues that have disproportionately affected them, adding that in the post-Roe landscape, advocates will look to women’s care networks. abortion that have been built by black women over the years. time.
“Black women have, in the face of such organized abandonment – both historically and currently – created their own systems, networks of care and community support to meet the needs of one another,” Altiraifi said, “at a time and in places where the state was failing to do so.”
The report highlighted policies such as guaranteed income that have proven effective in reducing economic disparities. Members of the congressional caucus, including U.S. Rep. Yvette Clarke, DN.Y., also introduced a resolution encouraging their colleagues to follow the plan of the Black Women Best report.
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