An August 2020 report by Simone Soublet for Women’s eNews reveals how COVID-19 has negatively impacted women of color. Hauntingly, COVID-19 continues to take millions of lives around the world—especially, the lives of women of color. The jobs that women of color tend to hold make them more vulnerable to the virus. Even more, women of color occupy work fields that are often disregarded by White women. This comes as no surprise as segregation and discrimination continues to exist in America’s workforce, where the roots of racism run deep, and women of color are often dismissed and neglected (along racial and gender lines). Yet, these women are significant for the economy.
Soublet writes, “People of color have been shown to be disproportionately impacted ever since coronavirus cases and deaths began to surge in mid-March. Now, five months later, not much has changed.” Specifically, Black Americans are impacted the most. African American mothers and Hispanic mothers show the highest rates of being their family’s providers. Soublet states that women of color, “play a crucial role in maintaining the economic stability of their families.” APM Research Lab reports that among 100,000 Black Americans, there are 80.4 deaths. Moreover, in every 100,000 Latino Americans, there are 45.8 deaths. Due to these deaths, many families are losing their providers.
Most women of color hold occupations in areas where they are more vulnerable to this deadly virus. “Essential and domestic workers like nursing assistants, home health care providers, grocery store cashiers, domestic workers, and childcare providers are primarily women of color.” Certainly, these occupations are more exposed to the dangers of Coronavirus. Furthermore, “Women of color also face inequities regarding their living and working conditions.” When it comes to seeking a job and maintaining work, women of color have limited opportunities in America.
The struggles that women of color face are rarely truly recognized. When it comes to COVID-19 and the way it has been impacting women of color, there is only little media coverage. Most articles fail to acknowledge White privilege and why women of color are enduring more hardships than White women. Oftentimes, White privilege is not acknowledged until it has to be. For example, an October 2020 report from Smithsonian Magazine emphasizes the effects of COVID-19 on different races in the workforce, acknowledging the “limited opportunities in the paid workforce” for women of color. Yet, the Smithsonian report fails to mention that women of color are the most vulnerable when it comes to the Coronavirus. Additionally, the article fails to mention that the American work system fails women of color. Overall, this leaves women of color to endure their own challenges when it comes to maintaining their well-being and health. This is why we need independent journalism to ensure these stories are told, and more importantly, something is done to remedy such injustices.
Source: Simone Soublet, “COVID-19’s Impact on Women of Color: August Update,” Women’s eNews, August 12, 2020, https://womensenews.org/2020/08/covid-19s-impact-on-women-of-color-august-update/.
Student Researcher: Ashley Jahng (Diablo Valley College)
Faculty Evaluator: Mickey Huff (Diablo Valley College)