For Asian American Women, Racism And Misogyny Have Always Been Intertwined

For East Asian, Southeast Asian, and multiracial or multiethnic AAPI women, the second most frequently reported kind of incident was being shunned or purposely avoided in public. East Asian and Southeast Asian women were also more likely to report being attacked for wearing a mask. 

According to Stop AAPI Hate’s data, South Asian women were disproportionately likely to have reported being physically assaulted, compared with East Asian women and Southeast Asian women. South Asian women also were more likely to report experiencing racism for their language or religion. 

To better understand the experiences of Pacific Islander women, who are often erased or excluded from analyses of AAPI representation, the report highlights the responses of the 415 Pacific Islander women who participated in the NAPAWF survey. More than half said that “anti-AAPI racism had affected their lives in 2020 and 2021.” Nearly 22% said they were harassed or discriminated against at work, and 16.7% said they felt “unsafe while walking outside.” More than 15% said they had been sexually harassed, 12.9% said they had experienced race- or gender-based violence, and more than 8% said they had experienced housing discrimination. 

The advocates and researchers stress that “the true proportion of women experiencing hate incidents is likely to be much higher since many of these incidents are never reported.”

The report recommends that policymakers on all levels make concerted efforts to develop and provide culturally specific resources for AAPI survivors of gender-based violence. In many AAPI communities, there is a stigma around talking about mental health, trauma, domestic violence and sexual assault, which could be lessened if AAPI women have access to resources that incorporate language and cultural barriers.

Many community-based organizations are already doing this kind of work, so the report recommends that policymakers and government officials better engage them and allocate more funding toward their work.

On a more fundamental level, advocacy groups routinely point out the lack of detailed data on AAPI communities, who are often left out of public polling or policy research. And when they are contacted, it’s often not done in culturally competent or language-specific ways, so the data collection does not produce a representative sample. In fact, it often obscures the inequities among different AAPI communities. The report recommends that government entities and other organizations who collect data do so in more specific and granular ways, in order to better capture the diversity of AAPI communities.

Read the full report here.



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