Recently a report was issued from the National Womens’ Law Center, on insurance discrimination against women, documenting how the insurance companies unfairly charge women. One of the spurious reasons given is the field of gynecology and pregnancy care, which men do not have.
Gender discrimination crosses all boundries, however. While it’s somewhat useful to identify differences such as racism and class or income levels, the underlying cause is that pregnant people are women. Lets not forget that the leading cause of death for pregnant women is murder. Some report that one in five women in the US, is the victim of domestic violence while pregnant, with the abuse often directed at the woman’s belly.
So why should it be any different on your job? In the following report from The National Partnership, pregnant black women are now only the second least affected at a 45% rise, after pregnant white women at 25%. It just gets worse from there! I find nothing concerning other possible groups, such as those who might be of Middle Eastern decent. I’m guessing a large underreporting there. The numbers are scary no matter how you compile them.
New Study Documents Sharp Rise in Pregnancy Discrimination Complaints Driven by Discrimination Against Women of Color
Sobering News as 30th Anniversary of Pregnancy Discrimination Act Approaches
[….The new study finds that race and ethnicity appear to be playing a significant role in the rise of pregnancy discrimination complaints. During the discrete period from FY1996 to FY2005, claims filed by women of color jumped 76 percent, while claims overall increased by 25 percent. During that time, complaints filed by Black women increased by 45 percent, by Hispanic women by 135 percent, by Asian/Pacific Islander women by 90 percent, and by American Indian/Alaska Native women by 109 percent. More than half the claims filed with the EEOC during that period (53 percent) were filed in service, retail trade and the financial services, insurance and real estate industries — where some seven in ten women work.
“It is truly sobering that, 30 years after our nation outlawed discrimination on the basis of pregnancy, so many women are forced to file complaints with the EEOC,” said National Partnership for Women & Families President Debra L. Ness. “We are especially concerned that so many women of color face pregnancy discrimination, and that employers in industries dominated by women workers are not obeying the law. Negative stereotypes about women, particularly pregnant women, clearly persist. We must strengthen enforcement of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act to make real the promise of equal opportunity in this country.”…]
The report corresponds with a recent one from the Southern Poverty Law Center, indicating that hate crimes against Latinos and Native Americans are rising. They are now tracking 888 hate groups and report a 50% in numbers of groups since 2000. Note that this rise has begun long before this election cycle.
As the economic downturn continues, those same women, the seven out of ten working in the service industry are likely to be most affected. (Except maybe for bartenders and cocktail waitresses; alcohol consumption usually rises in a downturn. So does prostitution.)