On the eve of International Women’s Day (March 8) a new report from the Insight Center for Community and Economic Development shows just how enormous a role gender and race play when it comes to wealth. Most likley because of the classic paycheck-to-paycheck reality faced by so many, the report found that single Black and Hispanic women, in particular, had zero or negative wealth, which occurs when debts exceed assets. Excluding the value of a car, the report found that single Black and Hispanic women own a penny of wealth for every dollar owned by Black or Hispanic men and a fraction of a penny for every dollar of wealth owned by a single White women. “With so little in reserve, half of all single Black and Hispanic women could not afford to take an unpaid sick day or to even have a major appliance repaired without going into debt,” says the report. In an era where economic disparities are all the more prominent, the case has to be made for providing more financial education and training for women of color. Among the reports suggestions for closing the wealth gap is encouraging small business development through micro-enterprise training programs and eliminating asset limits from public assistance program eligibility, “because without assets, women cannot achieve financial security and mobility.” What’s at stake is the economic prosperity of a large sector of women, the backbone of our communities. Read More: