Hillary Clinton took to the stage at the Women’s Leadership Forum National Issues Conference on Friday to explain how fighting for women means “fighting for women, men, and fighting for America.”
In front of a cheering crowd, Clinton reflected on how her experience campaigning for her husband in the nineties transformed the way she translates women’s experiences into policy and political change. Although Clinton had a longstanding career in fighting for women’s rights before she became First Lady, she said that talking with women across the country brought her a new perspective. She heard the same issue brought up again and again: women feel that their voices are not being heard in Washington. From then on, she vowed to do “everything [she] can to make sure that the issues that matter most to women and families are front and center.”
“I firmly believe when we fight for women, we’re fighting for our entire country,” Clinton said. She continued, “When we fight to make America fairer, stronger, and more prosperous, we are also fighting for women.”
Clinton showed that her dedication for positive change is for all women, saying:
“[W]hen we fight to create a pathway to citizenship for millions of immigrants, or to make social security even stronger, or to protect and improve the affordable care act because everyone deserves access to quality affordable care… When we fight to protect equal rights of all our people no matter what they look like, or who they love, and when we fight to stop the epidemic of gun violence that’s claiming innocent lives every single day in every corner of our country, that’s fighting for women, men, and fighting for America.”
Clinton has spoken on gun violence and reform in the past, calling for an end of mass incarceration earlier this year. She also called for massive a reform of the criminal justice system, including creating or expanding probation and drug diversion programs designed to keep low-level offenders out of prison, drug treatment alternatives, and pursuing alternative options for mental health support.
While addressing Republican attacks on her candidacy, Clinton also repeated rhetoric from past campaign rallies: “If calling for equal pay, paid leave and women’s health is playing the gender card… then deal me in.”
From the days that she was the first chair of the American Bar Association’s Commission on Women in the Profession in 1987, to her days as First Lady when she declared at the United Nation’s 4th World Conference on Women that women’s rights are human rights, to her time as Secretary of State when she appointed the first Ambassador-At-Large for Global Women’s Issues, Clinton has proven herself a long-standing supported of women’s rights.
Media Resources: CSPAN 10/23/15; Politico 9/5/15