Can John Kerry Be as Successful with Women’s Issues as Hillary Clinton?

It’s no secret that Hillary Clinton is awesome. Until she stepped down, she was the highest ranking female political official in the country, and, as such, a major feminist icon. Many feminists hope she will run for president in 2016, and I am one of them.

Clinton did such wonderful work as Secretary of State, especially for women and girls around the world. She was able to use her position of power to truly make a difference. For example, she worked to find ways to empower women and girls economically with The 100 Women Initiative, she worked tirelessly to get more women to run for political office, and piloted an initiative to empower women and girls through sports.

All of these are great programs, and we are a better nation — and a better world — for them. However, as you know, Clinton has recently stepped down from her position as Secretary of State and John Kerry has officially taken over. So what happens to all of these programs and, more importantly, the rights of women and girls around the world now that Clinton is gone?

Kerry was a good choice to follow Clinton. With his experience both in the Senate and as a former presidential candidate, I believe he has the experience to do what it takes to continue to make this world a better place for everyone, women and girls included. As Kerry joked, he does have some “big heels to fill,” but he has already announced a few programs he will be backing as he takes office. He wants to support USAID priorities such as: “Promote broadly shared economic prosperity; Strengthen democracy and good governance; Protect human rights; Improve global health, Advance food security and agriculture; Improve environmental sustainability; Further education; Help societies prevent and recover from conflicts; and Provide humanitarian assistance in the wake of natural and man-made disasters.”

Furthermore, according to The Broad Side, “On domestic women’s issues, he’s received a 100 percent rating from the American Association of University Women and as Chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, he supported the International Violence Against Women Act. Those are good signs of things to come.”

The question on some feminists’ minds is: does the Secretary of State have to be a woman in order to continue to champion the rights of women and girls around the globe like Clinton did? Obviously, men can and do emphatically support women’s rights, but will this particular man follow Clinton’s lead and continue to do so? We hope he will, and it seems that prospects are bright. With supporting economic prosperity and wanting to close the economic gap around the world, Kerry will hopefully continue to support women’s economic empowerment. He has said that he will support global health and HIV prevention programs, so hopefully that means that he will continue to support health-related education programs for women as well as issues such as maternal health and childcare.

With International Women’s Day coming up this Friday, the time is right for Kerry to jump right in and start where Hillary Clinton left off. We all hope he does, and I believe he will.

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Photo Credit: Chairman of the Joint Cheifs of Staff


David A.
David A5 years ago

Kerry is an idiot and opportunist. Will be a horrible Sec of State.

Allan Yorkowitz
.5 years ago

Clinton made her mark as best as she could under Obama; a man who used and politically abused her until she became physically ill. Her bailing on Obama was no surprise - Bill supporting Obama was, considering what he did to his wife.
Kerry, being a disgraced political candidate has something to prove; is it that he could be a contender for the Presidency once again if he proves himself?
I don't see Clinton wanting anymore of politics. I think she has enough of political incompetence, and game playing.

Joy Mcronald
Joy M5 years ago


Sonya Armenia Redfield


Geri Mellgren-Kerwin

Whether John Kerry is a "puppet" of Obama or the democratic party has more to do with the character of Obama AND Kerry. You can't assume a person who is part of the president's cabinet is nothing but a dittohead. If you have ever seen veteran John Kerry testifying before Congress on the Vietnam War in l967 or so, you would think this man could never be ANYBODY's puppet. Kerry is his own man and Obama doesn't appear to need yesmen around him. Some of Obama's advisors I don't like and as to why he picks them, I generally guess, I don't really know, he is pressured by the corporations/bankers/Wall Street to do so. As for the democratic party, that's anybody's guess.

paul m.
paul m5 years ago

They don't know what the average Woman wants or needs ,
Differancs of haveing money and power and trying too make ends meet.

john hall
john hall5 years ago

Kerry just like Clinton is a mouth piece and puppet for Obama and the democratic party .

Geri Mellgren-Kerwin

Do you notice that most of the commentators do not think Kerry will be as positive on women's issues as Clinton. Lynn S. thinks we criticize him--but we really are just expressing what we have observed about most men. Do you think mens indifference to women's issues may have consequences for all of us?

Geri Mellgren-Kerwin

Janice you can't say "Kerry may not be willing to STICK HIS NECK OUT TO OTHER MEN ON WOMEN'S ISSUES" as Clinton, without explaining what this means. I assume that as a man, Kerry would appear unmanly (or something like that) to other men if he took a positive position on women's issues? Don't you find that rather bizarre? Does a man have to be indifferent to women issues to be respected by other men? This is the kind of internal reality that men must stop concealing at the same time they let it control their actions. I didn't say Kerry was a bad man, but there are consequences for women and men when they act indifferently to our issues.

janice b.
jan b5 years ago

Bonnie...there are women in politics who set us back.....Condi-liar-Rice is one of them. Sarah-Palin---Bachmann....are the most notable.
Hillary has a record of standing up for children and women's issues all over the world since after law school and no man can compete with that record. My opinion, men might not be as willing to stick their necks out to other men on women's issues.....and not to say that Kerry isn't a good guy but it's just the way it is.