On Tuesday, in collaboration with the White House Council on Women and Girls and the White House Office of Public Engagement, the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders hosted an Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Women’s Roundtable. The roundtable brought together distinguished AAPI women leaders and advocates from across the U.S. and Pacific Islands to engage in a dialogue with senior Administration officials about the challenges and concerns facing the AAPI women’s community. Their issues related to immigration, domestic violence, human trafficking, working conditions, especially in nail salons, small business opportunities, health care, and equal pay.
At the roundtable, the Initiative also released its AAPI Women and Girls Fact Sheet. The fact sheet highlights the many ways in which the Obama Administration is supporting AAPI women and girls across the country, including:
- Supporting AAPI women in the workplace by creating the first interagency working group to address salon worker health and safety, ensuring fair labor standards for in-home care workers, and expanding education and career opportunities;
- Improving health outcomes, expanding access to quality, affordable health care for AAPI women and their family members and improving data collection through the Affordable Care Act;
- Promoting a common sense immigration reform proposal that supports the AAPI community and lives up to our heritage as a nation of laws and a nation of immigrants;
- Taking unprecedented government action to combat human trafficking and reauthorizing and strengthening the Violence Against Women Act; and
- Expanding opportunities for AAPI women-owned businesses through increased access to credit and ensuring AAPI women-owned businesses can compete for government contracts.
The Obama Administration has taken concrete steps to improve the quality of life and opportunities for AAPI women and girls. Tuesday’s roundtable continues the conversation with the community to better ensure that the federal government and all AAPI women have a voice in the conversation.
Frances E. Francis is currently Of Counsel with Spiegel & McDiarmid LLP, a Washington DC law firm specializing in energy, telecommunications, and regulatory matters. Ms. Francis is a Commission Member of the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.