History has been made this week. For the first time a woman has been nominated as a candidate for president of the United States. I am not an American. I have no electoral skin in this game. I can’t vote for anyone in the US. Nonetheless Hillary Clinton’s candidacy is important to me.
I have three daughters. I want for them every opportunity that I have had. Obviously as a Canadian I can never be US president and neither can my daughters. They can however be leaders in their family, communities, business and politics.
I believe in the power of politics to make change.
I have had the opportunity to report on politics, volunteer and work in politics and stand as a candidate. I respect everyone who puts their name on a ballot. It is no small thing to step up and attempt to make change. It takes courage, passion and commitment.
I want my daughters to feel like politics is an option for them if they so choose. I want for them to have role models to see that it is possible. Here in Ontario where I live, we have a female premier who I have had the opportunity to introduce to my daughters on a few occasions. I want them to live in a world where it is normal for a woman to run for elected office and where voters judge candidates on their merits and not on their wardrobe or what is between their legs.
Every woman who runs for elected office builds that world by their presence. Hillary Clinton winning the nomination for her party helps to change the world for my daughters. If she gets elected as president my daughters will spend part of their childhood knowing a female premier of our province and a female president of our neighbours to the south.
Obviously Americans should not elect Clinton just because she is a woman. They must look at her platform and who she is as a person and compare her to the competition. Then they have to chose. Hillary Clinton is just like every other human and every other politician. She is flawed. No person is perfect and no person standing for office is a perfect representation of our respective hopes and dreams. As voters we have to make choices and everyone makes their respective choice based on what is important to them.
I personally think Hillary Clinton is a powerful candidate in this election and would do much good for the US and likely the world if elected. I think Donald Trump is a wingnut. Now that they are their respective party nominees, Americans get to make a choice.
If Clinton wins the presidential election it does not mean that sexism will be dead or that women will magically be treated equitably in all circumstances in the US. It does mean that she will have broken through one more glass ceiling and will demonstrate what is possible for women and girls. She will serve as a model for my daughters, she is already providing an example for millions of girls.
As Clinton said in her acceptance speech: “When there are no ceilings, the sky is the limit.”