A new report on economic issues for women in Texas shows that when it comes to achieving financial security, a large percentage of women of color in the state face several barriers.
The barriers include access to affordable childcare, housing costs, college loan debt, pay inequity and a lack of health insurance, according to the study, “Economic issues for Women in Texas,” by Texas Women’s Foundation.
Dena Jackson is the foundation’s chief operating officer. She says there are racial disparities, too.
“Women are indeed the face of poverty in Texas,” Jackson said Tuesday. “And when you look at the intersection of gender and race on poverty, we see that Hispanic and black families, particularly women, experience poverty at a significantly higher rate than white women.”
The report says Texas women are twice as likely to be uninsured compared with other women nationwide – and women of color in Texas experience even higher uninsured rates, with around one in four Hispanic women and one in seven black women in the state uninsured.
Jackson says this coverage gap is particularly concerning given the high rates of maternal mortality and severe maternal morbidity among Texas women.
“Over the past decade, black women have consistently experienced a much higher mortality and morbidity rate than white or Hispanic moms,” she said. “This is the case in Texas, and actually in our nation as a whole, and it is regardless of income, education, marital status and other health factors.”
The report suggests policy changes like equal pay for women, as well as expanding Medicaid, especially for new mothers.