So Trump has won? Fine! But what does his presidential tenure holds for the women in the U.S and by extension women all over the world?
So many allegations of sexual assault, line up of degrading comments about feminine gender and the infamous “grab her by the p****” audio tape made Donald Trump a tough sell to female voters.
However, regardless of the support women gave to Hillary Clinton by a margin of 54 per cent to 42 per cent – it wasn’t enough to keep Trump out of the White House.
The president-elect has given few details on his policies on women’s rights, but his own behaviour raises concern about his attitude to sexual harassment and workplace discrimination.
He denied the sexual assault allegations but “publicly shamed” his alleged victims, says Marie Claire, and he has said that if his daughter was sexually harassed “he would encourage her to find another career or find another company” rather than take action against her harasser.
However, there is one piece of good news for working women – Trump’s policy on maternity leave, which was developed by his older daughter, Ivanka, would guarantee women the right to six weeks of paid maternity leave.
Currently, new mothers in the US must be given at least 12 weeks of maternity leave, but employers set their own policy on pay, making the country the only industrialised nation in the world with no mandatory paid maternity leave, says Politifact.
Republican leaders celebrate Trump victory, grip on US Congress
On the issue of Abortion In the US, women have had the right to abort an unwanted pregnancy since the 1973 Supreme Court ruling on the landmark Roe vs Wade case.
Pro-choice groups have accused some pro-life state legislatures of trying to undermine abortion rights by placing unnecessary restrictions on providers or women seeking a termination. But now a much more worrying spectre looms – could Trump’s election victory threaten the constitutional right to an abortion?
Trump has already named 11 conservative options to fill the vacant place on the Supreme Court left by Antonin Scalia, all of them pro-life. One potential candidate, William Pryor, has called Roe vs Wade “the worst abomination in the history of constitutional law”, Daily Beast reports
But would a conservative-leaning Supreme Court be able to repeal the legislation? Theoretically, yes, but as with repealing gay marriage, abolishing abortion rights might be popular with the GOP’s hardcore religious base but would be unpopular with the country at large. As of 2016, 59 per cent of Americans support the right to abortion, according to a Pew survey, and any moves to repeal it will probably be met with a huge backlash.
Of more immediate concern is Trump’s vow to defund Planned Parenthood, which provides free reproductive healthcare, including abortions, to some of the US’s poorest women.
Cecile Richards, the president of Planned Parenthood Action Fund, told CBS: “There are almost no words to capture the threat that this election result poses… to access to reproductive health care.”
CBS adds that in the hours following Trump’s election, “women on Twitter encouraged others to get a prescription for an IUD – a long-term birth control device – before it’s too late”.
Gay and transgender rights
Trump may claim to have “many gay friends”, but there is concern over his support for the First Amendment Defense Act, a proposal which would roll back anti-discrimination laws and allow religious private business owners to discriminate against gay people.
Washington DC-based pressure group Human Rights Campaign says the act would mean business owners had the right to “refuse to let an employee take time off to care for their same-sex spouse” and that hospitals could refuse to allow a same-sex spouse to visit their sick partner.
During his campaign, Trump also claimed to be opposed to gay marriage and vowed to fill vacancies on the Supreme Court with judges in favour of repealing marriage equality. As with abortion, however, with the latest survey showing 55 per cent of Americans now in favour of gay marriage, attempting to repeal it would be politically risky and unlikely to be seen as “worth it” by the Republican leadership.
However, there are a few glimmers of hope that Trump’s policies on transgender rights will be less regressive than much of his party’s. He disagreed with many of his fellow Republicans on transgender bathroom laws, saying people should use “the bathroom that they feel is appropriate”.