A new study by the American Association of University Women examines how Latinas in the U.S. suffered disproportionate economic repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic and calls for targeted policy solutions to address their needs.
The study is grounded in compelling personal stories of women who faced job loss, financial devastation and debilitating mental and physical health consequences over the past year. It details how the pandemic exacerbated underlying systemic inequities, presenting Latinas with even greater challenges.
“Hearing what these women experienced makes it clear we must address the specific needs of Latinas, who were hardest hit,” said Kim Churches, chief executive officer of the American Association of University Women. “Many were essential workers who kept our economy up and running throughout the crisis, and they deserve economic security for themselves and their families.”
“As we rebuild from the pandemic, we must lift up Latina voices,” said the study’s lead author Irasema Garza, J.D. “These women are a vital base of support to our nation; their success and that of the U.S. are inextricably linked.”
The American Association of University Women (AAUW) advances gender equity for women and girls through research, education and advocacy. The nonpartisan, nonprofit organization has more than 170,000 members and supporters across the United States, as well as 1,000 local branches and more than 800 college and university members. Learn more at www.aauw.org.
AAUW’s Latina Initiative resources include:
• Pandemic Inequity: Latinas and the COVID-19 Experience. This research examines how Latinas fared during the pandemic by documenting the lived experiences of individual women around the United States. Their personal stories are based on interviews with more than 40 women who represent the diversity of the Latina population in the U.S.
• The Status of Latinas in the U.S. This fact sheet offers a comprehensive look at the nation’s nearly 30 million Latinas with demographic information and the latest statistics on Latinas’ education levels, workforce participation rates, political engagement, access to health care, economic status and more.
• Latina Initiative Policy Recommendations. As our nation explores ways to recover from the COVID-19 crisis, AAUW advocates for specific policies to ensure economic security and access to educational opportunities for the nation’s Latinas. This document outlines AAUW’s priorities and calls for swift and immediate action.