This One Tweet About The Democratic Debate Summed Up Its Biggest Issue

Tuesday evening's debate among Democratic presidential hopefuls for the 2016 election featured lively discussion on a variety of issues, including gun control and Syria's ongoing conflict. But one topic that received surprisingly little attention was women's issues. While many people had hoped that the Democratic debate would feature more discussion about equal pay and reproductive rights than last month's GOP forum, women's issues were barely addressed. When reproductive rights finally made it into the conversation, though, Hillary Clinton shut down the GOP's stance on Planned Parenthood.

In her opening remarks at the debate, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said that "Finally, fathers will be able to say to their daughters: 'You too will be able to grow up to be president.'" Unfortunately, almost two hours went by after Clinton's statements without any mention of gender inequality in the United States. But when the time came, she didn't hold back about the Republican party's abortion stance. Clinton criticized the GOP's plan to defund Planned Parenthood, and even though her statement came surprisingly late in the debate, it seemed to be met with one of the evening's largest rounds of applause.

Clinton used the question about Planned Parenthood as an opportunity to jab Republicans about their distaste for "big government." The former secretary of state noted that Republicans "don't mind when 'big government' interferes with a woman's right to choose, and to try to take down Planned Parenthood." Her statements were strong, but it's still depressing that they came so late in the debate, just before the event was scheduled to end. Clinton's team also sent a message from her official Twitter account during the debate, saying that while "issues affecting women" have often been dismissed in U.S. politics, "those days are over."

Many voters have turned to the Democratic party (this election season in particular), because they're passionate about women's issues. Seeing gender politics pushed to the sidelines was frustrating for viewers who hoped to see more discussion of reproductive rights and equal pay, especially after the Republican candidates spoke so passionately about defunding Planned Parenthood. Let's hope that during future events on the campaign trail, the Democratic (and Republican!) candidates speak more about how they can improve women's rights, because equality is a point on which everyone should be able to agree.

Image: Caroline Wurtzel for Bustle