The global women’s rights movement has taken Hillary Clinton’s loss to Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential election particularly hard. Feminist leaders and organizers of various advocacy groups around the world spoke to BuzzFeed about what a Trump presidency means to them and women as a whole.
Bineta Diop, the African Union’s Special Envoy for Women, Peace and Security told BuzzFeed, “It’s frustrating in terms of not seeing the first American woman be elected as president. That was our dream. For us in the global women’s movement, we were hoping that Hillary would make it.” Many other leaders echoed Diop’s concerns. Visaka Dharmadasa, founder of the Association of War-Affected Women of Sri Lanka, called Clinton’s loss a “shattered dream.”
Many female leaders are also worried about what a Trump presidency spells out for women’s rights. Lina Abirafeh, director of the Institute for Women’s Studies in the Arab World, at Lebanese American University in Beirut explained, “I don’t see [Donald] Trump championing any women’s rights issues. I think he’s a massive setback and the world’s women are conscious of that.” Similarly, The European Women’s Lobby told BuzzFeed they were “deeply concerned” about allegations of his sexual misconduct and that women’s and minority’s rights were “under threat.” The Lobby’s statement continued,”We must work harder than ever to ensure the protection of vulnerable groups.”
Donald Trump’s election also caused international women to fear for their safety in their own countries. Samira Hamidi, the chair of the Afghan Women’s Network and the Afghan Human Rights Defenders Committee is afraid for what this means for women’s rights in Afghanistan. Hamidi explained to BuzzFeed that “the security system is deteriorating,” and Afghani women are continually “facing a lot of threats and challenges.”
Back in the United States, female leaders and celebrities echoed these sentiments. During a lunch hosted by Marie Claire celebrating their 2016 New Guard list of influential females, attendees spoke about what a Trump presidency means for minorities. Jessica Williams, former Daily Show correspondent and co-host of 2 Dope Queens, said Donald Trump “pedals the this idea of exclusion,” but that “it’s time to wake the f— up.” Williams continued, “It’s such a disheartening day to be a woman and to be a minority, but this is the time for us to start pulling together and start making something.” Cynthia Erivo, the Tony Award-winning actress in The Color Purple, said, “Now more than ever, women need to come together and to think about what to do next, how to remedy a situation that we really don’t have much control over.”