Both African-Americans and Caucasian women have both been victims of significant inequality and discrimination, and as such have both been involved in the fight for equality in the United States. At times, African-Americans and Caucasian women have been partners in their fight for equality, particularly African-American women and Caucasian women. They have shared the same struggles in terms of wage inequality and access to healthcare, for example (Lavalette & Penketh, 2014). They have also worked as partners in terms of Caucasian women helping African-Americans. In the earlier parts of the 20th century, for example, Methodist women were not allowed to become clergy in their churches and as such had time to focus on social efforts which aimed to provide relief from poverty (Stern & Axinn, 2011). This meant that white Methodist women often violated segregation to ensure that their efforts were received. At other points, however, they have competed against each other. An example of this is how white female feminism, for example, is often not intersectional in nature and thus ignores the needs of African-American women.
Social workers have a role to play in addressing inequality. Social workers have, for example, stated a commitment towards ending inequality in terms of African-American access to healthcare, for example (Stefani, 2008). Social workers often focus on issues that affect women as a group, such as domestic violence and problems with parenting, including access to welfare for families (Stefani, 2008). As such, social workers have a pivotal role to play in the development of a more equal United States in terms of both social and economic issues. Social workers are, of course, occasionally perpetrators of inequality, in that social work is often better funded in areas that are majority white. This issue is something that has been addressed by the National Association of Social Workers and will continue to be addressed in future.
- Lavalette, M., & Penketh, L. (2014). Race, racism and social work: Contemporary issues and debates. Policy Press. Retrieved from https://books.google.ca/books?hl=en&lr=&id=Rk7qAgAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PR1&dq=racism+in+social+work&ots=gW2Co1YXUw&sig=Am6KNbtJnLoqmkuWIxBX_pFNrpg
- NASW Press. (2015). Social Work Speaks, 10th Edition: NASW Policy Statements (10th edition). Washington, D.C: NASW Press.
- Stefani, A. (2008). White Women and the Fight for Equality in the Southern United States (1920-1964). Amnis. Revue de Civilisation Contemporaine Europes/Amériques, (8). https://doi.org/10.4000/amnis.646
- Stern, M. J., & Axinn, J. (2011). Social Welfare: A History of the American Response to Need Plus MySocialWorkLab with eText — Access Card Package (8 edition). Pearson.