Saluting Outstanding Women of Color for Women’s History Month

Because March is Women’s History Month, we here at Health Power appreciate and salute women of color – as a group and as individuals, and whether professional or nonprofessional. We salute them for the valuable and diverse contributions they make, in spite of the physical, mental and spiritual challenges they often experience, and almost always overcome.
Their contributions include:
  • Success in their family lives;
  • Success in their workplaces; and
  • Success in their communities.
The term “women of color” is used to represent all women of non-white heritage. Too often, their successes were associated with oppression and racism. They embrace shades of color and are yet, united through shared experiences, both locally and globally.
The role of women of color in shaping their economic and political climates is becoming increasingly significant as U.S. demographic trends continue to shift toward women of color becoming the majority among all women. Today, women of color make up 36.3 percent of our nation’s female population and approximately 18 percent of the entire U.S. population. By 2050 there will be no single racial or ethnic majority among the general population of the United States, and as our country rapidly grows more diverse, women of color increase.

In addition to the health field, women of color are also pioneers in the business world. According to the Center for Women’s Business Research, black women are starting businesses at three to five times the rate of all businesses.  Latina-owned businesses are the fastest-growing segment of the women-owned business market, and are starting up at six times the national average.

Despite the strides that women of color make in the workplace, in business and in their communities, when it comes to their health and healthcare coverage, they still have many disparities. They have higher rates of diabetes, obesity, heart disease, hypertension, and certain forms of cancer, and also have increased mortality, or death, rates for certain cancers. While white women are more likely to have breast cancer, black women have higher associated mortality rates. Every year, for example, an average of five African American women die from breast cancer per day. There are also higher death rates from cervical cancer among older Hispanic women, Asian American women, and American Indian/Alaska Native women than among white women.

With improved access to adequate health insurance and health care, these results will improve. Increased education is also key, helping women of color to increase their awareness about their bodies and their overall health. As a result, they will make better health related decisions.

Health care is not only physical care, but also mental and spiritual care for the total woman. In the past, Health Power has honored 18 outstanding women of color, ranging from Soledad O’Brien to Patti LaBelle. They were recognized for their contributions to the physical, mental and/or spiritual health of people of color and society as a whole, and each has contributed much to the history of minority/multicultural women.

Click here to see these 18 women and what they were doing when they were singled out for special recognition, in honor of  Women’s History Month.

Remember the Health Power motto: Knowledge + Action = Power!

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