Bernie Sanders has made it abundantly clear that he cares about tackling more than corporate greed, and he has proven that Hillary Clinton isn't the only feminist running for the Democratic presidential nomination. He's not only pro-choice, but also believes women should have complete control over their bodies, should make the same amount of money as men for equal work, and shouldn't have to worry about domestic or sexual violence. In the numerous times Sanders has stood up for women or otherwise said something feminist, he's demonstrated that he truly values women as equals.
Sanders recently identified himself as a feminist (which he said means that he has a commitment to fighting for women’s rights), and his stances on women's issues and equality for everyone back up the claim. He isn't shy about standing up for the other half of the population and our right to equal treatment, either — his campaign website even has a page dedicated to women's rights. The liberal presidential candidate calls out others who don't have feminist values, and has attacked Republicans for their attempts to defund Planned Parenthood and limit women's access to medical care.
If you want to know where Sanders stands on feminist issues, just look at these seven times he stood up for women.
On The Violence Against Women Act
Sanders voted for the Violence Against Women Act in 2013, which protects and provides support for victims, as well as strengthening the legal response to abuse. When President Obama signed it into law, Sanders issued a statement which read:
The Violence Against Women Act is an extremely important law and has helped protect women in Vermont and across our country for nearly 20 years. While the incidence of domestic violence has been reduced, too many women and girls are still suffering from domestic violence and sexual abuse.
On Equal Pay
In his 12-point economic plan he outlined for the Senate in December, Sanders advocated for equal pay for equal work. One portion of the plan read:
Provide equal pay for women workers who now make 78 percent of what male counterparts make.
On The "War On Women"
In an op-ed Sanders wrote for The Huffington Post in 2012 about the "war on women," he said:
We are not returning to the days of back-room abortions, when countless women died or were maimed. The decision about abortion must remain a decision for the woman, her family and physician to make, not the government.
On A Female President
In an interview with a Washington Post reporter in September, Sanders explained that he wants to see more women in office, but that voters need to choose a candidate based on their agenda and record. He said:
I do understand there is a desire on the part of many women, perfectly understandable, to see a woman being elected president. And we all want to see that. We want to see women hold more political offices. But I also would hope that, in these enormously difficult times, where it is absolutely imperative that we stand up to the billionaire class, bring our people together, to fight for a progressive agenda, that all people — women — look at that candidate who has the record to do that.
On Planned Parenthood
In a September Facebook post, Sanders called out Republicans for trying to defund Planned Parenthood. He said:
When you tell a woman that she cannot control her own body, that’s extremism. Let's say it loud and clear: women control their bodies, not the government.
On Maternity Leave
As a part of his "family values agenda," Sanders advocated for 12 weeks of paid leave if an employee gives birth or is diagnosed with a serious medical condition. He said:
Simply stated it is an outrage that millions of women in this country give birth and then are forced back to work because they don’t have the income to stay home with their newborn babies.
On The Equal Rights Amendment
Sanders' campaign website vows that he'll pass the Equal Rights Amendment, which guarantees equal rights for women, if elected president. It says:
And, not only are we going to expand policies that advance gender equality, we are going to fight to pass the long-overdue Equal Rights Amendment and vigorously defend the critical laws and programs which protect all working people in our country.