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  • Girls hug President Barack Obama as he visits the Boys and Girls Club of Cleveland.

    Girls hug President Barack Obama as he visits the Boys and Girls Club of Cleveland. | Photo: Reuters

Published 13 November 2015

The Obama administration has pledged to establish a new fund to help advance the economic prosperity of women of color. 

The White House Council on Women and Girls hosted on Friday a day long forum, which focused on empowering and increasing opportunity for women and girls of color. 

During the conference, the White House issued a pledge to launch a US$100 million, 5-year-funding initiative to improve economic prosperity for low-income women. The figure compares to the half trillion of the national budget spent since 2014 on “defense.”

Currently, Black women earn on average 60 cents for every dollar a white male makes. Meanwhile, the unemployment rate of Black women was 181 percent higher than that of white women in 2013.

"We've made great strides to protect the middle class (from) poverty since the president has been elected, but too often, women and girls of color face limited opportunities," said senior adviser to the president and chair of the White House Council on Women and Girls, Valerie Jarrett.

Critics, such as Washington Post journalists and the Center for American Progress argue that during his presidency, Obama’s has largely ignored Black women’s struggles, even as Black women have been Obama’s most loyal supporters at the ballot box.

In 2012, Black women voted at a higher rate than any other group—across gender, race, and ethnicity—and, along with other women of color, played a key role in President Obama’s re-election.

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