Mucarsel-Powell, Hispanic Caucus Announce Latina Prosperity Principles

Author  Sebastian Silva

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) Women’s Task Force, chaired by U.S. Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (FL-26) the first South American-born member of Congress, announced CHC’s first-ever “Latina Prosperity Principles” for the 116th Congress.

“Latinas are an integral part of our country’s economy and we are proud to outline a framework to help lift the tide in a way that no longer leaves Latinas behind,” said Mucarsel-Powell. “Our principles are wide-reaching; we recognize that Latina issues are intersectional. As Latinas become a growing percentage of the labor force, we need a comprehensive strategy that will help Latinas earn equal pay for equal work and afford quality education – for themselves and their families. Latinas make 53 cents for every dollar men make, and it is critical for our society that we end that pay disparity. Our commitment to promoting policies that will advance economic justice, ensure access to affordable quality health care, and equality will determine whether or not we build an inclusive economy that puts the American Dream in reach for everyone. When you empower Latinas, you empower families across the country.”

“I am so proud to join Congresswoman Mucarsel-Powell and the Women’s Task Force in unveiling the CHC’s Latina Prosperity Principles. Latinas are the backbones of their communities and the leaders of their families, yet they still face massive inequalities. They are denied access to healthcare, equal pay, and the respect they are owed,” said CHC Chairman Joaquin Castro. “But Latinas are also on the rise - earlier this year, we doubled the number of Latinas in Congress. Despite adversity, Latinas across the country are making profound impacts on their communities, rising through the workforce, and stepping into leadership roles they deserve. These principles are just the beginning; our Hispanic Caucus will continue fighting to build an infrastructure of opportunity and equality for Latinas.”

The Women’s Task Force, which was established at the beginning of the 116th Congress, also includes U.S. Reps. Nanette Diaz Barragán (CA-44), Nydia Velázquez (NY-7), Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA-40), and Grace F. Napolitano (CA-32).

You can read the The Hill’s exclusive article on the Principles here. The Latina Prosperity Principles can be found here and below:

Latina Prosperity Principles by the Hispanic Caucus Women’s Task Force

We commit to fighting for…

Economic Justice

Paying Latinas equal pay for equal work and providing them with the economic support they need is not only a benefit to our economy, it is the right thing to do. We must close the gender pay gap, address gender and racial wealth inequality, expand labor protections, fight for paid family leave, expand opportunities for affordable child care, and preserve and improve access to retirement plans and Social Security. We must also strengthen academic support for students and expand access for Latinas in STEM programs. These measures are essential for women’s advancement in the workforce, improve health outcomes for Latino children, and to help keep Latino families out of poverty.

We find…

Women make 80 cents for every dollar that men make, and for Latinas the number drops 53 cents for every dollar (AAUW);

13.4% of women live in poverty compared to 9.9% of men, and for Latinas this figure jumps to 20.9% (National Women’s Law Center);

Latino families have the lowest rates of access to paid family leave of any racial or ethnic group, with only 25% having access through their employer, compared to 50% for non-Hispanic whites (Center for American Progress); 

Latinas represent only 11% of all women who earned bachelor’s degrees. Although Latinas earn 61% of all bachelor’s degrees awarded to Latino students, they earned only 39% of Latina STEM degrees in 2016-17. In the workforce, 6% of Latinas are employed in science and engineering (National Girls Collaborative Project);

A majority of students on college campuses are nontraditional, many of whom are mothers. 71% of student parents are women, and 32% of Latina women in college are mothers (Institute for Women’s Policy Research). 

Health Care

Increasing access to health care will improve both health outcomes and economic security for Latinas and their families. Increased access to health care reduces both health and non-health related debt, boosts workplace productivity, and provides economic security to enable more individuals to contribute to the economy. Unfortunately, Latinos have the highest uninsured rate of any racial or ethnic group, and access to health services they rely on are continuously at risk. 

We must continue to work to expand access to health care for all Latinas and safeguard against efforts to sabotage health care services such as Title X programs that Latinas and many low-income families rely on. Additionally, we must continue to provide support for research and services combating health disparities that disproportionately impact Latinas.

We find…

19.5% of the Latino population is uninsured, compared to 6.5% of the non-Hispanic white population (Office of Minority Health);

Latinas are experiencing rising rates of maternal and infant mortality and incidences of cervical cancer. Latino babies are 47% more likely to die as an infant. Latinas are also 25% more likely to be newly diagnosed with cervical cancer and 18% more likely to die from the disease (Office of Minority Health);

Suicidal behaviors are especially serious among Latina girls. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that in 2015, 15.1% of Hispanic teen girls attempted suicide the year before, compared to 9.8% of all non-Hispanic white girls. (CDC).

Equality

Every individual, regardless of their ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, ability, or socioeconomic background, must be treated fairly and equally. We must advocate for equality everywhere, from fighting for LGBTQ+ rights in our communities, to standing with sexual assault survivors on school campuses, to ending harassment in the workplace. We must stand with all communities to ensure the American ideals of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are accessible to everyone. 

We find…

Fatal violence and discrimination disproportionately affect transgender women of color and the LGBTQ community (National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs);

It is estimated that 20% of women are sexually assaulted while in college, however more than 90% of victims on college campuses do not report the assault (National Sexual Violence Resource Center);

Approximately 80% of women experience workplace harassment throughout their lives (Institute for Women’s Policy Research).

Latinas face unique challenges and we commit ourselves to fighting these disparities and supporting Latinas’ advancement and prosperity.

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