Hillary Clinton: Clock ‘turning back’ for women in U.S.
Hillary Clinton warns in a new book that the “clock is turning back” on women across America and offers a passionate argument for prioritizing the advancement of women and girls.
Clinton, the former secretary of state and possible presidential contender, is one of a slew of high-profile contributors to a new report set to be released Sunday compiled by author and activist Maria Shriver and the liberal Center for American Progress.
“[Fighting] to give women and girls a fighting chance isn’t just a nice thing to do,” Clinton writes in “The Shriver Report: A woman’s nation pushes back from the brink.” “It isn’t some luxury that we only get to when we have time on our hands. This is a core imperative for every human being in every society. If we do not continue the campaign for women’s rights and opportunities, the world we want to live in — and the country we all love and cherish — will not be what it should be.”
Clinton’s essay is part of the book’s broader examination of working women and the economic challenges many confront, a cause she champions in many of her public appearances.
“I think of the extraordinary sacrifices my mother made to survive her own difficult childhood, to give me not only life but also opportunity, along with love and inspiration,” Clinton writes. “I’m very proud of my own daughter, and I look at all these young women I’ve been privileged to work with or know through [daughter] Chelsea, and it’s hard to imagine turning the clock back on them. But in places throughout America large and small, the clock is turning back.”
Clinton points to a wide range of issues, from pay equity to work-family balance to life expectancy, as areas where women in the United States still face problems, though she also nods to gains in “business, academia, government—you name it.”
Contributors include pop star Beyonce Knowles-Carter, Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and basketball star LeBron James.
The report comes as Democrats have intensified their focus on addressing income inequality issues, starting with the unemployment benefits extension currently under consideration in Congress.
“There’s just a lot of facts that are driving this conversation,” said Neera Tanden, the president of the Center for American Progress and longtime adviser to Clinton, in an interview. “Wages have been down, we have the level of inequality that we do, people kind of feel like they’re falling behind … Those concerns are really highest amongst this group of women who are working and still aren’t able to get their heads above water.”
Through her family’s foundation, Clinton has launched “No Ceilings,” an initiative designed to promote women around the world, and a theme that comes through in the essay.
“Hillary has had a focus on the condition of women literally throughout her career, from the ’70s, ’80s, ’90s to today,” Tanden said. “I’d also say she’s had a particular focus on the economic concerns women face … so having Hillary make the case, she does it from the global perspective of why empowering women at all levels of the economic strata, is usually helpful to the debate. People see her as a champion for women.”
Clinton has indicated she could decide about a 2016 presidential bid by the end of this year.