She Se Puede: Latinas Rising Out of the Ashes

This generation will change the world!” “Empowered women empower women!” For decades, the idea of eliminating discrimination against gender–specifically through the empowerment of women–has been an endless discussion. From International Women’s Day rallies to social media trends like #MeToo, women’s opportunities and influence in society has evolved overtime. However, even with the progressive changes to challenging gender inequalities, empowering women alone is not enough to demand the cultural changes the world needs. 

The Gender Pay Gap

Even today, the gender pay gap-and the Pink Tax for raised taxes on women-based products- is a combative concept. In addition, when adding both gender and race, the progress towards gender equality really gets put into question. Statistically, as provided in “The State of The Gender Pay Gap in 2020” by PayScale: “research shows that the uncontrolled gender pay gap, which takes the ratio of the median earnings of women to men without controlling for various compensable factors, has only decreased by $0.07 since 2015. In 2020, women make only $0.81 for every dollar a man makes.” Moreover, with the intersection of gender and race, the system fails at an even higher percentage.

According to Inequality.org, wealth inequality rates are higher for Black and Latina women compared to White women, on a scale against White men. Based on their report derived from Asset Funders Network report, “the median wealth of White single women was $15,640. Yet, the median wealth for single Black women and Latina women was $200 and $100 respectively, about one cent for every dollar of White women’s wealth.” Even the median calculated income of Latino and Black men were proposed to be gradually less than the median wealth of White men.

Underappreciated and Underrepresented 

Moving aside the concern regarding wealth inequality and pay gap among women versus men and White women versus Hispanic and Black women, the controversy of these statistics lead to one truth: Along with other races and ethnicities, Latinas are underrepresented in multiple departments. There is no better time for Latinas to rise above the ashes to prove their worth; 2020 is the year of change, demands, and making calls. Latinas have made an impact on how society has responded to the constant negativity swirling around and they did not come to play—Latinas are a force of nature. 

What is ‘She Se Puede’? 

She Se Puede is an organization dedicated to inspiring and uplifting Latina women in everyday life, including when it comes to making groundbreaking contributions such as voting. America Ferrera is one of the founders, along with 9 other powerful beautiful women, who started the journey for She Se Puede. In a time of demanding change and embracing diversity, She Se Puede helps provide the resources to Latinas and others outside of the community to be informed on the impact Latinas have, including events, webinars, and inspirational daily posts. 

In recognition of the crucial presidential election this year, Latina women of all ages have contributed to the voter turnout in multiple states. America Ferrera, American-Honduran actress, took a close-eye look into the election voting results on Twitter. On November 4th, she tweeted: “Latinas were one of our big bets this election cycle and they exceeded expectations! After 10 years of fighting against anti immigrant measures, Latinos showed up strong in Arizona powered by a SURGE in working class Latinas.”

Continuing her fair share of voting rates and results, she adds in following tweets with: “The victory in Wisconsin was powered by LATINAS. More than double Latino early votes in from 2016 (17,000) to 2020 (46,000). 57% of those early votes are from LATINAS” and closes her informal thread with “In Michigan, the early Latino vote exploded by 5X to 73,000 early Latino votes up from 14,500 in 2016. 41,000 of the 2020 votes came from LATINAS.”

The work and engagement of women coming together as one is powerful; but the wave of Latinas that have been united yet silenced is one of the loudest forces society will never prepare for. Dear 2020, “She se puede!”; oh yes, she can.