Hillary Clinton’s Proudest Feminist Moments

More than just memes.

By Brenden Gallagher

The left wing of the Democratic Party certainly has some room to complain about Hillary Clinton. When it comes to economic and foreign policy, she isn’t exactly Elizabeth Warren or Bernie Sanders. However, whether you’re a granola crunching peacenik Democrat or a SJW who still doesn’t like paying much in taxes, you can appreciate Hillary Clinton’s social achievements. As we gear up for an election that will feature six months of Trump supporters screaming “Benghazi!” and saying sexist things about her pantsuits, let’s look back at Hillz’s most feminist moments.

Founder of Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families (1977)

The year before Clinton became First Lady of Arkansas, she co-founded the Arkansas Advocates For Children and Families, an organization committed to being an “independent force to provide information and education to parents and citizens about our state’s policies toward children and families.” The organization continues its work today. Over the years, their achievements have included a 1983 overhaul of the state’s juvenile courts, a sharp decline in uninsured children, and assisting low-income families with economic security.

Family and Medical Leave Act (1993)

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One of the priorities of Bill Clinton’s first term as President was the Family and Medical Leave Act. This precursor to what will some day be paid maternity leave (fingers crossed) requires that employers make allowances for unpaid leave for family and medical reasons. The bill failed under George H.W. Bush, and was then passed under Clinton. As First Lady, Clinton was a champion of the legislation.

Address to UN Women’s Conference in Beijing (1995)

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“Human rights are human rights and human rights are women’s rights, once an for all.” This sentence was the summation of Clinton’s twenty minute address to the 1995 UN Women’s Conference. In this speech, Clinton touched on a range of issues affecting women around the world, from genital mutilation to forced sterilization to censorship.

First Female Senator from New York (2000)

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While Hillary Clinton’s record as Senator from New York has been an issue of discussion in the primary and will continue to be a topic of conversation as we approach the general election, not enough attention has been given to the fact that she was the first female Senator from New York. During her two terms, her biggest achievements included significant progress in the area of veterans rights, leadership in the effort to rebuild the World Trade Center area, creating job opportunities in technology and manufacturing, and pushing for social issues like equal pay.

Advocate For Equal Pay (2001-Present)

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Let’s zero in on equal pay for a moment. Though we do not yet have a payment equality mandate in this country, Clinton has fought tirelessly for gender equality in the workplace. Clinton co-sponsored both the Paycheck Fairness Act and the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. The Lily Ledbetter Act, which passed in 2009, increased the statute of limitations for pay discrimination lawsuits. The Paycheck Fairness Act has not yet passed, but Clinton championed the act in five separate iterations during her time in Senate.

Plan To Fight Sexual Violence in the Congo (2009)

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As Secretary of State, Clinton made history as the first Secretary to visit the Eastern Congo. Secretary Clinton used her visit to hear the stories of victims of sexual violence and unveil a $17 million aid package. The money was used to “train doctors, supply rape victims with video cameras to document violence, send American military engineers to help build facilities and train Congolese police officers, especially female police officers, to crack down on rapists.” The United Nations has called the Congo, “the rape capital of the world,” and Clinton’s plan drew attention to the issue and took steps to stem the brutal sexual violence rampant in the region.

Action Plan for Women, Peace, and Security (2010)

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When President Obama signed the Executive Order bringing this plan into existence, Secretary Clinton described it as a “a comprehensive roadmap for accelerating and institutionalizing efforts across the United States government to advance women’s participation in making and keeping peace.” What does that look like? Clinton boiled it down to five policy areas. The Plan called for: partnering with women to prevent conflicts, strengthening protections for for girls during and after conflict, expanding women’s roles in peace processes and decision making, ensuring that relief and recovery address the needs of women and girls, and institutionalizing the plan across the American government.

Global Health Initiative (2010)

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Another one of Clinton’s greatest achievements as Secretary of State was a $60 billion Global Health Initiative aimed at improving reproductive health services in the world’s poorest countries. Key focuses of the initiative included reducing infant and maternal mortality and stemming the spread of HIV/AIDS. This initiative was just one part of her larger focus on Women’s Health as Secretary, which included initiatives training midwives and utilizing mobile technology in public health.

Created Office of Global Women’s Issues (2013)

During her tenure as Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton created a new office in the State Department and appointed Catherine Russell as Ambassador-At-Large in charge of the department. This was a capstone achievement of a tenure as Secretary marked by advocacy for women around the world. Clinton is pictured above with Melanne Verveer, the first United States Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues.

No Ceilings Initiative (2013)

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In 2013, the Clinton Foundation announced the “No Ceilings Initiative” in partnership with several other groups including the Gates Foundation. The purpose of the initiative was collect data on womens’ progress. By 2015, the Initiative produced an influential report with a number of key findings. For example, the report found that while the gender gap in primary education has closed, the gap persists in secondary education and that while women out number men in universities, one in four women is married before her eighteenth birthday.