This presidential race has put a spotlight on women’s issues because for the first time, a woman has been nominated as a major party’s candidate.
Issues like reproductive health and maternity leave have become increasingly important in modern times and especially in this year’s election. Feminism is almost experiencing a fourth “wave” of resurgence with the millennial generation; more and more young women identify as feminists.
Hillary Clinton claims that she is the “only candidate in this race who has led the fight to protect women’s reproductive rights throughout her entire career”. She also has the undeniable experience of actually being a woman. She has a history of fighting for women’s rights. When Clinton was senator of New York, she worked for access to emergency contraception, including emergency contraception for military women who have been victims of sexual assault.
As First Lady, reproductive health was one of her main issues she fought for. She made many statements in speeches across the world defending a woman’s right to choose. In her presidency, Clinton says she will fight for the Affordable Care Act to stay in place and be improved upon. The ACA prevents insurance companies from discriminating against women, and according to Clinton’s website, it guarantees 55 million women preventative care. Planned Parenthood would also be untouched and remain funded under her presidency.
As far as Trump’s campaign goes, there are no specific provisions for women’s reproductive health. However, almost surprisingly, he has said that he would not defund Planned Parenthood if they continue abortions, despite the fact that many Republicans often call for this organization to be shut down as soon as possible.
At a Republican primary debate and at many other instances, he cited the fact that although he is pro-life, he believes the other services Planned Parenthood provides, such as cancer screenings, are more beneficial than the small percentage of funds that go towards abortions.
There is a possibility that with Trump dismantling the Affordable Care Act, many women could lose insurance coverage. However, this is not an issue that he addresses.
One issue that Trump’s campaign has really focused on is childcare. Trump’s website has plans that describe how he would improve childcare- tax deductions, incentives for employers to provide childcare in the workplace, and 6 weeks of paid maternity leave. He takes into account the increasing number of mothers in the workplace and the increasing cost of raising children.
Clinton very strongly communicates her feminist approach to policy. Under the “Issues” tab on her website, policies that relate to women are all over. She has a page specifically dedicated to women’s rights and opportunity. She says she will work to close the pay gap, end violence against women, especially on college campuses, and even promote gender equality around the world. She was vocal about women’s issues even as First Lady of Arkansas and First Lady of the United States.
Donald Trump, on the other hand, has not been holding women’s issues in a positive light. From issues ranging from hurtful comments about many women’s appearance, to butting heads with Fox News’ Megyn Kelly at the debate and now the recent videos where he brags about groping women, Trump has had many publicly acclaimed instances with feminine issues.
As election day nears, Tuesday marks the last day that these issues will be argued between Trump and Clinton as Americans take on the final hours to vote for the next president.
View the latest election poll here.