Hillary Clinton Hints at Platform to Support Working Moms

Hillary Clinton said today that women shouldn’t have to choose between motherhood and advancing their careers, a theme that may resurface as part of a platform if she runs for president in 2016.

“The absence of paid leave is a strong signal to women, and particularly mothers, that society and our economy don’t value being a mother,” the former U.S. secretary of state said. “The absence of quality, affordable childcare -- and affordable and quality have to go together -- is a very big factor in limiting and sometimes ending women’s participation in the workforce.”

Clinton, who spoke during a panel discussion with philanthropist Melinda Gates at the Clinton Global Initiative’s annual conference in New York, has increasingly embraced advocacy for women and girls as a political plus while she considers a second presidential bid. Many of her closest friends and advisers lamented her decision to play down her gender during her losing 2008 presidential campaign.

Now, Clinton is calling attention to obstacles to women becoming and remaining full participants in the economy as well as possible remedies.

“If we did more on child care and we did more on paid family leave, particularly for new mothers, we would be sending the right signals,” she said. Clinton added that society must find a way to ensure that women are “not being penalized” for becoming mothers.

“We still have a lot of cultural, customary, even attitudinal, psychological barriers” to equality, she said.

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