"Women's rights are human rights." This simple sentence declared by then-First Lady Hillary Clinton at the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing in 1995 resonated around the world. Millions of women heard this as a declaration that they mattered, that their daughters mattered. The issue of women's rights and equality has persisted as the cornerstone of Hillary's political career. Over and over again, she has reinforced her famous speech with concrete actions -- as First Lady, Senator and Secretary of State -- fighting for women's rights domestically and internationally. Hillary Clinton's record on women's rights speaks for itself. While other candidates may have progressive proposals and ideas, I urge their supporters to cite tangible policy changes that have benefited women in this country and abroad.
If we are to honestly consider the issues that affect women and families, Hillary has consistently and passionately advocated for gender equality and family friendly policies. Throughout her time in the Senate, she championed gender equity legislation and used her status in the world to shine a light on issues of importance to women and girls.
In terms of family planning and reproductive rights, Hillary has unwaveringly supported a woman's right to choose and has fought for access to family planning resources that would empower women to make their own decisions about their bodies. Her historic refrain that abortions should be "safe, legal and rare" should be the mantra for all leaders who want to make sure birth control is easily accessible for all women. She has publicly condemned the Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby ruling limiting birth control access for employees and strongly supports Planned Parenthood's work. Hillary has spoken in no uncertain terms in defense of Roe v. Wade, and sponsored legislation to reduce the number of abortions through access to birth control and sex education.
Globally, no candidate has done more for women's rights than Secretary Clinton. In her time as Secretary of State, she appointed the first-ever Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women's Issues at the State Department; oversaw the creation of the U.S. National Action Plan on Women, Peace, and Security; and introduced the Global Health Initiative (GHI), investing $63 billion to help partner countries provide robust maternal and infant health services. Secretary Clinton has worked tirelessly to elevate women's rights as the key towards economic prosperity and global stability. Her public and private initiatives have appropriated millions of dollars towards providing secondary education to young girls around the world, and tackling the obstacles that face at-risk youths.
The best predictor of future performance is past performance, and when it comes to women's issues, the record is clear. Hillary Clinton is the best candidate for women -- not simply because she is one -- but because she holds the strongest and most consistent record of effectively championing women's rights, economically, socially and politically. Breaking the ultimate glass ceiling does not constitute a political strategy, but electing a strong woman with a concrete track record of protecting and defending women's rights certainly does.