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Clinton Tells Working Mothers It Shouldn't Be So Hard

Portrait of a busy businesswoman holding her mobile phone and working at home.
Photograph by Getty Images

On a recent campaign stop, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton was compelled to write a letter to working mothers in the U.S. She'd watched her campaign bus driver, Liz, FaceTime with her kids. Liz was driving yet another overnight shift, even though she didn't like to. She has a son in college and needed the hours. She's got kids at home, too.

Raising a family—even with a partner (as Liz has)—is never easy, but, Clinton writes, things also shouldn't be that hard for U.S. families. She writes that the responsibilities of family shouldn't be so burdensome that they prevent women and men from making their way in the world, like getting an education, starting a business or following their dreams.

In the letter, she gets a little wonky, as is her reputation, which she acknowledges. She details the changes that she argues need to happen.

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"We need to raise wages and close the pay gap. Raising the minimum wage will be key, because about two-thirds of minimum-wage and tipped workers are women. And we need to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act to hold companies who don’t pay women fairly accountable for their actions," she writes in the letter, posted on PopSugar.

"We need affordable child care and paid family leave. We need to expand access to health care so that you and your kids will always be covered. And we need to make certain that you will always be able to make your own healthcare decisions. This isn't easy, but it's no harder than what Liz does all the time: getting on the road, driving for hours and leaving her kids behind."

How to make this would-be Utopia happen in the U.S.?

Step No. 1, she argues, is to not elect Donald Trump.

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His past statements show a person who doesn't take the challenges of families—and women, in particular—seriously, she writes. At best, they show a person who isn't good with details.

The other steps she doesn't describe except to say they will take a lot of determination, work and attention to detail (much like working motherhood). In the meantime, she explains, we should be assured that it's paying off:

"Working moms have had their fill of insults and condescension. You’re out there making sacrifices for your families every day. And they’re paying off: a recent Harvard study found that daughters of working moms make 23 percent higher salaries when they grow up. We need to make it easier to continue that progress."

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