When a white gunman in Georgia
killed six women of Asian descent in a series of shootings in March, many Asian Americans
and Pacific Islanders, particularly AAPI
women, were shocked — but not surprised. AAPI women and girls are all too familiar with the toxic combination of racism and misogyny, which is frequently reinforced through media
Stop AAPI Hate, a coalition of advocacy organizations and scholars that has been collecting incident reports to document the rise in anti-Asian racism
fueled by the pandemic
, has consistently discovered that AAPI women are twice as likely as AAPI men to report racist
“Racism intertwined with misogyny has always been a part of the lives of AAPI women, and the pandemic merely exposed what was previously unnoticed,” the report, a collaboration between Stop AAPI Hate and the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF), concludes.
The report is based on findings from Stop AAPI Hate's ongoing database of self-reported incidents, as well as NAPAWF's February national survey of AAPI women.
According to the report, the majority of racist attacks reported by AAPI women involved verbal harassment or being called derogatory names and slurs, most of which occurred on public streets and/or sidewalks, as well as in businesses.
Being shunned or purposely avoided in public was the second most frequently reported type of incident for East Asian, Southeast Asian, and multiracial or multiethnic AAPI women, and East Asian and Southeast Asian women were also more likely to report being attacked for wearing a mask.
South Asian women were more likely than East Asian and Southeast Asian women to report being physically assaulted, and they were also more likely to report experiencing racism because of their language or religion, according to data from Stop AAPI Hate.
The report highlights the responses of the 415 Pacific Islander women who participated in the NAPAWF survey to better understand the experiences of Pacific Islander women, who are frequently erased or excluded from analyses of AAPI representation. More than half said that “anti-AAPI racism had affected their lives in 2020 and 2021,” and nearly 22% said they were harassed or discriminated against at work
According to the advocates and researchers, "the true proportion of women experiencing hate incidents is likely to be much higher because many of these incidents are never reported."
The report recommends that policymakers at all levels collaborate to develop and provide culturally specific resources for AAPI survivors of gender-based violence. There is a stigma associated with discussing mental health
, trauma, domestic violence
, and sexual assault
in many AAPI communities, which could be reduced if AAPI women have access to resources that incorporate language and culture.
Many community-based organizations already do this type of work, so the report suggests that policymakers and government officials better engage them and allocate more funding to their work.
On a more fundamental level, advocacy groups routinely highlight the lack of detailed data on AAPI communities, who are frequently left out of public polling or policy research, and when they are contacted, it is often not done in culturally competent or language-specific ways, resulting in data collection that does not produce a representative sample, often masking inequities among different AAPI communities.
The complete report can be found here.