BY ISABELLE OFUME
The “Made Visible” panel discussion allows those on and outside the panel to air their views on the term “poverty” with regard to women and children. There are conflicts in the perception of the term in the discussion of women and children from a multicultural, color, race and religious standpoint for the federal government of America. Because of this wider scope, it creates a very big burden on the panelists on how to speak about the victims and the prevailing situation while trying to offer solutions.
Perhaps, while constructing a solution, it would have been better to divide the victims into their individual race, color or other aspects of originality to be able to speak on particular problems that have created poverty for them. By grouping the victims together, a cloud of understanding can be attained for each specific demographic, since Blacks, whites, Latinos, Arabs, Asians and so forth are not facing the same uphill battle in navigating themselves from “poverty to prosperity.”
For example, take a situation of a single Black parent, a graduate who has been looking for job and is unable to get one because of the color of her skin. Again, look at the same Black, who has been forced to drop out of school early. Lacking education and formal training, she has no money to pay for child care or even public transportation to look for jobs. This type of woman is bound to remain in poverty. On the other hand, in certain isolated cases in the white community,eternal profile (by nationality—Jewish, Irish, etc.) or adaptive criminal record may deter the chance of getting employment, and the chance of poverty may be close.
The reason the topic of poverty is extensive is because some of the panelists talk about “all” women’s poverty, lacking specific focus. For example, “more than half of the 46.2 million Americans living in poverty are women, and 29% of adult women are more likely to be poor than adult men.” In America, you can’t talk about the issue of poverty in all different communities of women, such as Black, white, Hispanic, Asian and so forth.
Because of this lack of specificity, Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis failed to present actual focus on how to reduce women and children’s poverty. She did not address specific issues regarding how to remove poverty within different ethnic circles. Different communities of race and color face different obstacles. Therefore, training is not a solution that is applicable in all these circles.
In trying to do an analysis of the poverty of women and children, Cecilia FireThunder and Nely Galan specifically addressed their own communities’ problems that women and children face. They offered solutions and how to design a workable policy and practice. These speakers gave a direct outlook in solving the problems of women and children, rather than discuss women and children as a whole in the United States.
Isabelle Ofume is the pop culture contributor at Greedmont Park. She’s an intern and interviewer currently working side-by-side with EpiCenter of Change and LIMPT, inc., in their work of supplying change.