Which President Will Do More For Women? (And What Have They Done in the Past)?
We know that the president holds a lot of power in directing our country and the lives of the people in it. When deciding which candidate to support, we can tell a lot about them by their views and plans for the marginalized people of our country. In this piece, I’ll address the future of women and our rights, and I’ll consider which president will do more for women.
Everyone is entitled to their own opinion but it’s important to stick to the facts here. The easiest way to know which candidate will do more for women is to look at what they’ve done historically, not just what they say they’ll do. Actions speak louder than words, especially when it comes to a presidential candidate.
Thankfully, we have a lot to pull from for this election. Both candidates have been in the public eye for a long time. The Democratic nominee is the former two-term Vice President and Senator, Joe Biden. The Republican nominee is the sitting president, Donald Trump. Their actions are well-documented for us.
I’ve broken down the plans of both candidates based on their official campaign proposed plans for women and what they have done historically for women, both positive and negative:
Former Vice President Joe Biden
What Biden Says He’ll Do, According to His Official Campaign Plan:
- Improve the economic security of women through equal pay, accessible education, and business investments
- Support the Paycheck Fairness Act
- Support the BE Heard Act against workplace discrimination
- Pass the Domestic Workers Bill of Rights.
- Advocate for the Equal Rights Amendment, which would make discrimination against women unconstitutional
- Expand accessible, high-quality health care for women — particularly BIPOC, LGBTQ+, veteran, and disabled women
- Prohibit violations of Roe V. Wade and restore federal funding for Planned Parenthood
- Provide extensive paid leave and accessible child and elder care to help women manage their families and careers
- Empower women globally through creating economic equality and ending gender-based violence
- Ratify the U.N. Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW)
- Dismiss the global gag rule that allows the U.S. to pull funding from organizations that provide abortion services
- Increase the issuance of visas for immigrants affected by domestic violence or human trafficking
- Put women’s issues at the forefront of all policy change efforts
- Create a White House Council on Gender Equality
- Commit to nominating African American women to the Supreme Court
What He Has Actually Done For and Against Women:
- Authored the Violence Against Women Act in 1994, creating support and resources for domestic violence and sexual assault victims.
- Created the first White House Advisor position for Violence Against Women
- Formed the Biden Foundation to address sexual assault and violence against women
- Introduced the International Violence Against Women Act (IVAWA) to address global gender-based violence
- Sponsored the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) nine times
- Rescinded the above-mentioned global gag rule as vice president
- Passed the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008
- Passed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act with former President Barack Obama, which made paycheck transparency a requirement for medium-large companies
- Created the Affordable Care Act with Obama, allowing affordable health care to be accessible
- Created the White House Council on Women and Girls with Obama
- Chose Kamala D. Harris for his running mate, who would be the first female vice president if elected.
President Donald Trump
What He Has Actually Done For and Against Women:
- Disbanded the White House Council on Women and Girls
- Has three women serving in his cabinet, which is historically low
- Nominated Amy Coney Barrett, a woman, to fill the 2020 vacant Supreme Court seat
- Appointed Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, who has several sexual assault accusations towards him
- Overturned a bill that prohibited states from defunding abortion service providers
- Reinstated and expanded the above-mentioned global gag rule
- Signed a Congressional Review Act bill to restrict Planned Parenthood funding
- Opposes abortion
- Launched the Women’s Global Development and Prosperity (W-GDP) Initiative, to help women economically through accessible education, business investment, and training
- Reversed the executive order that required collecting paycheck data
- Gave $35 million in grants to organizations providing safe housing for human trafficking victims
- Has not re-authorized the Violence Against Women Act in 2019
I found it concerning that President Trump does not have an official action plan laid out, whereas I spent hours reading Biden’s concrete, actionable plan for the advancement of women. Looking at both of their histories, it is clear that Biden has done, and plans to do, more for women than Trump, politically.
It’s also important to understand the personal actions of the presidential nominees. In this case, both candidates aren’t shining examples for the treatment of women. A former staffer who worked with Biden in 1993 accused him of sexual assault in 2020. There have been no criminal charges filed, or verified proof. Additionally, seven women have also stated that Biden behaved inappropriately, but these women clarified that his actions did not constitute sexual assault or misconduct.
In 2016, an Access Hollywood tape came out where Trump was recorded saying, “you can do anything to women if you’re rich” and to “grab them by the p*ssy.” Trump has had 26 women publicly accuse him of sexual assault and sexual misconduct, including his former wife, Ivana. The latest accusation came in September 2020. Several women have sued him or called for a congressional investigation. One rape charge is currently moving forward with legal proceedings. Trump has also been sued by adult-film actress Stormy Daniels over a payment he made to keep her quiet about their sexual relationship.
In this election, it’s important to head to the polls with a full understanding of how the next president may or may not support your rights. While how you vote is your decision, the facts do not lie. Whatever your choice may be, and regardless of your political party, if you’re voting on behalf of women, make an informed vote this November.
Alicia Briggs, Content Creator