FAST FACT: Black Women's Health Care Access and Educational Attainment Rising

By Josephina Ragon* 

Last week, I waited eagerly on the steps of City Hall to get the latest facts on the status of black women and girls. The Law and Policy Group, Inc. released their 2010 Bi-Annual report to a crowd of fellow non-profits, media, and interested citizens. According to Executive Director and Founder Gloria J. Browne-Marshall, the report gives the public a picture of an “African-American female as a whole person—a snapshot of her life.” This particular study is the only ongoing national report on the current state of black females in the United States.

The research not only covers the challenges faced by black women today, but also their achievements thus far. For example,

  • Fewer black children are in foster care: the percentage of black children in care had dropped 7 percentage points between 2000 and 2006 while the percentage of white children rose 2 points.
  • Black women's post-secondary educational achievement is rising: In 2009, 10.2% of black women age 25 and over graduated with an associate’s degree in an occupational or academic field compared to 10.8% White women.
  • Black women are accessing preventive health care: black women, age 40 and over, have the second highest rate of mammogram screening, a preventive measure against cancer, after white women.

According to the report, the role of black women is undeniably crucial to the black community and society at large. For The Law and Policy Group, Inc., education and participation in the academe is the first step to economic security for black women and their families.

To learn more about The Law and Policy Group, Inc. and get a copy of the report, visit their website.

With better research, we can all stay informed, stay educated, and make change. As Browne-Marshall stated, “She needs to be informed in order to be effective.”

*Josephina Ragon is a Research and Programs Intern with the National Council for Research on Women. She is a rising senior at Hobart and William Smith Colleges with a double major in Media & Society and Women Studies, and a double minor in Peer Education in Human Relations and French & Francophone Studies. She is looking to continue her education in the fields of Women Studies and Law.

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