Black women have a comparatively higher voting rate than all other groups of men and women during the past two presidential elections, Time Magazine’s Motto reports.
But the demographic is still underrepresented in political offices at every federal and state level in America.
“In 2014, Black women composed 6.4 percent of the United States population, but as of August 2016 held only 3.4 percent of seats in the United States Congress — and no seats in the U.S. Senate,” a new report by the Institute of Women’s Policy Research finds. “In state legislatures, Black women held just 3.5 percent of seats. Only two Black women in the country held a position in statewide executive elected office.”
The cause of this lack of representation is apparently multi-tiered; the report notes that in addition to being less likely to be recruited to run for office, women of color may also encounter more efforts that discourage them from doing so than white women.
In order to combat these obstacles, methods suggested to improve representation in federal and state government include campaign training programs, community outreach, and investment in black women leaders.
“Such efforts will be critical to increasing black women’s political participation in the years to come,” the report states.
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