Story at a glance
- Women of color make up more than 20 percent of the United States population.
- While turnout reached historic levels during the last presidential election, barriers to voting remain.
- A new poll finds that women of color are becoming even more engaged in politics since the last election.
After turning out in record numbers for the 2020 presidential election, women of color made it known that their voices would not be silenced. But making them heard is still not easy.
“Women of color are an increasingly powerful voting bloc, but efforts to enact restrictions on voting hit us hard. Women of color voters made clear this last election that they are paying attention and won’t be ignored. Black women, in particular, mobilized their communities and turned out votes that delivered victories up and down the ballot,” Marcela Howell, In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda President and CEO, said in a press release.
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One in 10 women of color were first time voters last November, and 9 in 10 of plan to vote in the next election, according to a new poll. But 2 in 5 faced challenges while voting, ranging from disinformation ahead of the election day to long lines at the polls to requests for identification at the booth.
Still, making up more than one-fifth of the population, women of color are increasingly involved in politics, the survey revealed, especially because of the coronavirus pandemic, which disproportionately affected Black, Indigenous and other women of color.
“AAPI women are a powerful elector force and it is clear that we will hold our elected officials accountable to address the issues and barriers that our community and our fellow women of color – whether it’s health care, economic issues, discrimination or reproductive rights,” said National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum Executive Director Sung Yeon Choimorrow.
“Latinas/xs and all women of color are constantly navigating a multitude of issues – we lead intersectional lives. This motivates us to demand that our elected officials enact policies that reflect our lived experiences and ensure justice and equity for everyone in our communities,” said National Latina Institute for Reproductive Justice Executive Director Lupe M. Rodríguez.
So what do they want? According to the poll by Intersections of Our Lives, women of color want to see an intersectional approach from candidates and elected officials who understand how white supremacy affects their lives — including during the ongoing economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.
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