For young women of color, progress has been painfully slow, says a new report from the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund and the National Women’s Law Center. The report argues that gender and racial stereotypes — combined with unequal distribution of school resources and overly punitive disciplinary practices, among other factors — have created a climate where African-American girls are more likely than any other group of girls to be suspended, expelled or held back entirely.
The report shows that African-American girls are doing worse than the national average for girls on almost every measure of academic achievement. Globally, the United Nations has warned that gender inequality in education wastes vital human capital and stifles economic growth. As one of its Millennium Development Goals, the U.N. set an ambitious objective of eliminating the gender gap in education at all levels by 2015.