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How Will Brexit Affect Black Women And How Do We Feel About Leaving The EU?

Just over 24 hours has passed since this country made a decision that will change the future of our nation, and the world, forever.

During Brexit, Black Ballad decided to keep politically neutral and write articles that shared the thoughts of black British women, rather than telling black women how to vote. Now that the results are in, we as a platform for black women have a responsibility to carry on that conversation; especially since the mainstream pushed our voices to the side and decided to let a divided Tory party and xenophobic weasel be the dominant voices in a decision that would affect everyone regardless of gender, class, sexuality and skin tone.

So how does Brexit affect the futures of black women? With the results still so fresh, it's hard to say in totality, but it seems like the choice to break away from the EU will have negative consequences specific to us.

The health and mental health of black women

We know that the black community are more likely to experience high blood pressure and diabetes, and sickle cell is a disease that mainly affects black people. Also, black communities in the UK are more likely to experience mental health problems due to facing additional issues such as bad housing, unemployment, stress and racism, all of which can make people ill. Studies showed that between 2014-2015, black people in contact with mental health or learning disability services were twice as likely to spend at least one night in hospital compared to their white counterparts.

So, with that in mind, how has Brexit put the mental health and the health of black women at risk further? The answer begins with the potential cuts to the NHS. Farage has admitted that it was a mistake (we read bold faced lie) to say that the NHS would receive £350m a week from leaving the EU. The move according to Labour, could potentially put a £10.5 billion hole in the NHS. Not to mention that leaving the EU could have a negative impact on our access to funding to health based research and innovation and staff.

The National Health Service currently employs 17,000 nurses and health visitors in England that come from other EU countries and 10,000 hospital doctors that come from elsewhere in the EU. So considering that the black community is more likely to suffer from specific health problems and black women are more likely to suffer from mental health problems, it's extremely difficult not to see how leaving the EU isn't putting our community's overall health at risk.