Zonta USA Advocacy Action Center

Zonta International is a global organization of individuals dedicated to empowering women worldwide through service and advocacy. The Zonta USA Advocacy Action Center is a tool for our members in the United States and other individuals who share our commitment to gender equality to take action to improve the lives of women and girls. With your help, we can make a difference. In addition to the actions below, click here to support our joint efforts with UNICEF USA to end child marriage in the United States.

Protect Black women and girls
While the data collected on the experiences and conditions of Black women and girls is often insufficient and incomplete, the following is true:

  • Black women die from pregnancy-related complications at three times the rate of their non-Hispanic white counterparts.
  • For every dollar that a white man earns in the United States, Black women are paid 61 cents.
  • 60% of Black girls experience sexual assault before they reach adulthood.
  • In comparison to white girls, Black school-aged girls are four times more likely to be arrested at school and five times more likely to be transferred to another school for disciplinary reasons.

The bipartisan Protect Black Women and Girls Act (H.R. 6268) would establish an Interagency Task Force to examine the conditions and experiences of Black women and girls in education, economic development, healthcare, labor and employment, housing, justice, and civil rights, to promote community-based methods for mitigating and addressing harm and ensuring accountability and to study societal effects on Black women and girls.

The task force would be responsible for:

  • Identifying and assessing the efficacy of policies and programs at the federal, state and local levels designed to improve outcomes for Black women and girls.
  • Making recommendations for improving these policies and programs.
  • Covering issues involving Black women and girls in education, economic development, health care, justice, civil rights and housing.
  • Submitting recommendations to Congress, the president and each state or local government on policies, practices, programs and incentives that should be adopted to improve their outcomes.

It would also direct the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights to conduct a study and collect data on the effects of specified economic, health, criminal justice and social service factors on Black women and girls.

“It is long past time for this country to acknowledge the disturbing treatment Black women and girls endure, but acknowledgment will not be enough,” said Congresswoman Robin L. Kelly (D-IL). “We must dedicate federal resources to examining the causes of these issues and commit ourselves to improving the education, healthcare, economic opportunity and civil rights available to American Black women and girls.”

The Protect Black Women and Girls Act was introduced in the House of Representatives by Congresswomen Kelly, Yvette D. Clarke (D-NY), Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ), co-chairs of the Caucus on Black Women and Girls, and Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) in December 2021. Please urge your representative to co-sponsor and support H.R. 6268. If they have already sponsored or co-sponsored the bill, you can send a message of thanks.

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