Top 5 things to watch for during the Democratic Convention

The Republican National Convention was complete chaos, oozing with misogynistic remarks. There were hundreds of hateful buttons, shirts, signs, and other items with sexist slurs directed at Secretary Clinton for sale and sported by delegates. Mike Pence mentioned the “sanctity of life” and the Second Amendment in the same sentence. Melania Trump plagiarized Michelle Obama, of all people, and then the Trump camp blamed Clinton supporters for having a bad reaction to the screw-up. The audience chanted “lock her up”—her being Clinton, of course. And poor Ben Carson connected Secretary Clinton to Lucifer.

There is no doubt that the DNC will be different. Here are five things to watch for.

1. Secretary Clinton mentioning reproductive rights in her speech

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Secretary Clinton has been a trailblazer in defending women’s reproductive rights. She has defended Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood constantly. She has advocated for women’s autonomy and she has promised to work to repeal the Helms Amendment, which prevents the U.S. from funding safe abortion services abroad. Will she use the DNC as a platform to reiterate her commitment to reproductive rights?

2. The party adopting a full repeal of the Helms Amendment into their platform

DNC Petition Delivery

Recently, Population Connection Action Fund delivered more than 6,000 petitions signed by individuals around the country to the Democratic National Committee. The petition called on the members of the platform committee to include the repeal of Helms in the draft. At the Convention, we’ll see whether the delegates will actually approve the draft and officially commit to repealing Helms.

3. Speakers highlighting gender-based violence and sexual assault

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Vice President Joe Biden has been an outspoken advocate against gender-based violence and sexual assault. He took the United State of Women Summit by the storm with his impassioned speech about the plight of women in the U.S. and around the world and their vulnerability to sexual violence. This Convention could be another opportunity for him to highlight the cause and advocate for justice for survivors of rape and gender-based violence.  

4. Equal pay making it to the stage

equal pay

 (Courtesy of AAUW)

Secretary Clinton, Senator Elizabeth Warren, and many other DNC speakers have been outspoken advocates for ending the gender wage gap. Reports show that even today, American woman make 20% less than men for the same work(?). The contrast is even starker when it comes to women of color. For example, in twelve states, white men earn more than twice what Latina women do. In 2014, black women only made 63 cents for every dollar white men made. With the chronically devastating impact the wage gap has on the most marginalized communities, it is high time for it to be highlighted at the DNC.

5. The party adopting raising the minimum wage into their platform

Minimum wage protest

 (Courtesy of Creative Commons)

For the first time ever, the DNC platform includes raising the minimum wage. While that would impact all low-wage hourly workers, it would be especially important to women, as female workers are more concentrated in low paying jobs than in higher-paying occupations. Women also make up more than 70 percent of tipped workers, who have an even lower minimum wage. Raising the minimum wage will greatly help single mothers who are more likely to live in poverty. Delegates at the convention have the chance to approve the platform’s draft on minimum wage and pave the way to improving the lives of millions.

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